BCCI secretary Jay Shah on Saturday said the T20 World Cup may have to be shifted from India to the United Arab Emirates due to the COVID-19 situation.
"Due to the COVID-19 situation in our country, we may shift the tournament to UAE. We are monitoring the situation closely, the health and safety of players are paramount we will take a final call soon," he said.
Meanwhile, the remaining matches of IPL 2021, which was suspended in May, will also be held in the UAE. The 14th edition IPL will get underway on September 19, with the final to be played on October 15.
The T20 World Cup is set to be held in the UAE from from October 17, two days after the conclusion of IPL 2021. And that has seen franchises sweating over whether foreign players would be available.
The 16-team T20 World Cup was scheduled to be played in India but with the teams reluctant to travel to India in wake of the COVID-19 situation, the BCCI is all set to shift the event to the UAE.
"Round 1, which will include 12 matches, will comprise eight teams from which four (top two from each group) would qualify for the Super 12s," said a report in ESPNCricinfo.
"Four team from this lot of eight - Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Namibia, Oman, Papua New Guinea - will then progress to the Super 12s, joining the top eight ranked T20I teams."
The Super 12s phase, comprising 30 games, is slated to begin from October 24 across three venues in the UAE - Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
Some of the franchises are planning to have their officials head to the UAE in July to finalise the logistics, keeping a strict eye on the COVID-19 protocols.
An official of one of the franchises said it is important to head to UAE as the situation is a little different as compared to the 2020 edition.
"We are looking at heading to the UAE post-July 6 once we get the go-ahead from the BCCI and the government so that we can seal the logistical deals. Unlike last year, bulk bookings won't be as easy this year as you will have people travelling into the country and that makes the work around bio-bubbles all the more critical," the official explained.
Cricket West Indies President Ricky Skerritt has already confirmed that CWI and BCCI are engaged in talks for a tweaked CPL schedule to accommodate the second phase of the IPL. The CPL, which was originally scheduled to commence on August 28, will now be played in St Kitts and Nevis between August 26 and September 15.