ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021
ICC confirms T20 World Cup will be held in UAE, Oman
The ICC finalise the dates for the 2021 T20 World Cup, which has been relocated from India
29 June 2021, 08:25 PM AEST
The International Cricket Council has confirmed that this year's T20 World Cup will be played in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
The tournament will run from October 17 to November 14 and be held at four venues - the Dubai International Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Stadium, and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground, just outside the capital, Muscat.
The move comes as India, the original hosts of the tournament, continues to battle a deadly wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The BCCI made every effort to stage the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in India and provide its passionate fans with a reason to cheer after a long period of gloom," BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.
"However, the prevailing pandemic situation in the country meant that the health and safety of everyone concerned was fraught with risk should a tournament of this stature is held across the country.
"The BCCI will continue to host the tournament, which will now be held in the UAE and Oman and work closely with the ICC to make it a memorable event."
Oman, one of five Associate nations who have qualified for the tournament, only made their senior international debut less than 20 years ago but have since risen to 18th position in the world T20 rankings.
"It is indeed a great moment for Oman Cricket to be selected as a venue/host of the forthcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup," said Oman Cricket Chairman, Pankaj Khimji.
"We shall leave no stone unturned to exceed the requirements of BCCI and ICC. Oman will certainly extend a very warm welcome to all the teams, officials and media in October."
The tournament will begin with the qualifier rounds that will feature Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Namibia, Oman and Papua New Guinea. Four of those teams will then progress to the Super 12 round and join India, Australia, England, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa, the West Indies and Afghanistan.
Acting ICC CEO Geoff Allardice said their priority was to deliver a safe tournament in full.
"Whilst we are incredibly disappointed not to be hosting the event in India, the decision gives us the certainty we need to stage the event in a country that is a proven international host of multi-team events in a biosecure environment."
The Indian cricket board was forced to suspend the Indian Premier League (IPL) in May as cases surged in the country and it's already been confirmed that the remaining IPL matches will be held in the UAE, before the World Cup.
A recent ESPN report said the remainder of the IPL will run from September 19 to October 15, with the World Cup to start two days later.
The UAE proved its ability to stage a major T20 tournament by hosting last year's Indian Premier League, holding 60 matches at just three venues – in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah – in a little more than seven weeks, all in a bio-secure bubble.
The West Indies are the defending world champions after beating England in 2016.
Australia have never won the tournament, their best result being a second-place finish in 2010 after going down to England.