The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah wrote to the state associations on Monday stating that it was not an easy decision to shift the T20 World Cup to the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
In his letter – which Sportstar has seen – Shah wrote that the decision was taken keeping the safety of players in mind. “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 T20 World Cup to the United Arab Emirates,” Shah wrote.
“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. 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.
In a separate letter, the Board president Sourav Ganguly, too, informed the state units that the decision had to be taken keeping all factors in mind. “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,” Ganguly wrote in the letter.
On Monday, the BCCI formally informed the ICC that it would not be possible to host the event in India due to the pandemic. Ganguly confirmed that the qualifiers will be held in Oman, while the main leg will be played across three venues in the UAE.