The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly, on Monday, said 'safety of players and other stakeholders' is of 'paramount importance' and keeping that in mind it was decided to shift the ICC T20 World Cup to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
"We wanted to apprise you that we have discussed this issue with ICC and have had several rounds of discussions internally," Ganguly said in a letter to all members of BCCI.
"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 organisers."
"Although, vaccination in the country is going at breakneck speed, there are reports of a third wave and different variants, which we just cannot ignore. There is nothing more that we could have wanted than to host this prestigious tournament in India, but it was not to be," he added.
Earlier, the ICC had clarified that BCCI would keep the hosting rights of the tournament even if it is moved out of India.
The BCCI President confirmed that the BCCI remains the host for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup and due to the board's prior experience of hosting IPL in UAE, Ganguly is confident of staging the showpiece event smoothly.
"On the brighter side, the BCCI remains the host for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup and with its prior experience in hosting IPL in UAE, we can say with certainty that it will be hosted smoothly, and the BCCI will leave no stone unturned to make it an unprecedented success," said Ganguly.
"We thank you for your continued support and we hope that you will give your unflinching support on this issue as well, as you have done in the past," he added.