'Safety of players, stakeholders is of paramount importance': Sourav Ganguly on shifting T20 World Cup to UAE

Updated on Jun 28, 2021 10:25 PM IST

In a letter to the members of the BCCI, board president Sourav Ganguly explained the reasons behind the shifting of World T20 to the UAE.

File image of Sourav Ganguly.(Getty Images)
File image of Sourav Ganguly.(Getty Images)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly, in a letter to the members of the BCCI, explained the reasons behind the shifting of the T20 World Cup to the UAE, as per a report from news agency ANI. In the letter, Ganguly wrote that the safety of players and other stakeholders is of paramount importance, the report added.

"We wanted to apprise you that we have discussed this issue with ICC and have had several rounds of discussions internally," Ganguly wrote, as per ANI.

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"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.

"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.

"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.

"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," Ganguly further said.

The shift comes just months after the BCCI decided to reschedule the remainder of IPL 2021 in the UAE. The tournament was earlier postponed indefinitely in early May after the bio bubble of several franchises was breached and players and staff members had tested positive for Covid-19 during the devastating second wave in India.

The ICC had to cancel the T20 World Cup last year, which was to be held in Australia, due to the Covid-19 situation. The window was given to the BCCI, which had successfully hosted the IPL 2020 in UAE.

(With agencies inputs)

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