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What are the reasons to shift ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 to UAE?

Shubham Singh
24 Sep 2021
What are the reasons to shift ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 to UAE?

T20 cricket or the twenty overs game has become increasingly popular since the last decade and this year’s edition marks a five years break since it last happened in 2016. Initially, ICC planned to conduct back-to-back T20 World Cups, first in Australia during 2020 and then in India around 2021. The World schedule in Australia got postponed because the pandemic situation in Australia worsened with each day as the first wave of the pandemic surged in the summers and the whole country got devoured by a lockdown due to the haunting pandemic.

The Australian situation meant that the World T20 was not going to be held in Australia 2020 and then a multitude of folks waited for the fate of the Cup in India. This year, India’s situation also took a hit when the pandemic raged in the initial half of the year and this is when ICC took a major step and decided to shift ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 to UAE & Oman. The event is going to be held from 17 October to 14 November. This is the chronology of events:

  • In July 2020, ICC postpones the Australian edition of the T20 World Cup due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • In August 2020, ICC confirmed the latest edition of the T20 World Cup should be staged in India. Australia was confirmed as the host for the 2022 T20 World Cup.
  • In June 2021, ICC announces that the 2021 edition of the World Cup will take place in UAE and Oman. Slated to start from October 17 to November 14 this year.
  • In August 2021, the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan puts doubts on Afghanistan’s participation in the tournament.

The 2016 edition of the tournament was won by West Indies who are to defend the title after a substantial hiatus and they will begin their title defense since ICC’s decision to shift ICC Men’s T20 World Cup to UAE and Oman.

First Round

The 2021 edition will begin with the first round, where teams who don’t fall in the top eight ranks and had to play their regional qualifiers will fight it out. The matches in the first round will be among eight teams who will battle for the two available spots in the next round. These are the teams in Group A and B:

Group A

Sri Lanka

Group B
Papua New GuineaScotland

The tournament will get underway with the battle between Group B teams Oman and Papua New Guinea, making it a home fixture for Oman at Al Amarat.

Main Round

The teams that finish as the two teams in their respective groups then join the top eight ranked teams in the “Super 12”. Here are the groups for Super 12s:

Group 1
South AfricaWest Indies
First ranked team in Group ASecond ranked team in Group B
Group 2
New ZealandPakistan
First ranked team in Group BSecond ranked team in Group A
  • The first match will be played between Australia and South Africa in Group 1 on October 23.
  • The first match for Group 2 will be played between India and Pakistan on October 24.
  • The last match of Group 1 will be played between England and South Africa on November 6.
  • The last match of Group 2 will be played between India and the second ranked team in Group A of the First Round.
  • The top two teams from Group 1 and Group 2 will clash against each other in the Semi-Finals.
  • The Finals will be played on November 14.

We wanted to apprise you that we have discussed this issue with ICC and have had several rounds of discussions internally. After much deliberation, it has been decided that safety of players and other stakeholders is of paramount importance and keeping that in mind, it is best that we shift the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup to the United Arab Emirates and Oman. It was not an easy decision and we mulled over it for months, constantly keeping an eye on the COVID situation all along. However, with the second wave causing such devastation, the decision ultimately boiled down to the safety and well-being of the players and organizers.

Sourav Ganguly, BCCI President

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