Kolkata: The T20 World Cup, as expected, will be held in the UAE with a tentative start from October 17 soon after the conclusion of the Indian Premier League there, according to media reports.
While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had sought a deadline of June 28 to inform the International Cricket Council (ICC) about their ability to host the marquee event, a ESPNcricinfo report says that the World T20 has been moved out of India and will be held in the UAE from October 17 to November 14.
The first round of the T20 World Cup, according to them, will be split across two groups and played in the UAE and Oman. 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. Four teams 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 matches, is scheduled to start from October 24. The Super 12s, where teams will be split across two groups of six each, will be played at three venues in the UAE – Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. This will be followed by three play-off games – the two semi-finals and the final.
The idea behind sharing first round matches with neighbouring Oman is to allow the BCCI time to hand over the main venues to the ICC well ahead of the time-frame for the Super 12 stage.
In a crucial ICC Board meeting on June 1, the ICC granted BCCI until end of June to give its final word even as they officially kept the UAE on stand-by and a neighbouring Gulf country (Oman) as Plan B to host the mega event in consultation with the Indian board – who will remain the hosts.
Informed sources in the BCCI revealed even a few days back that they may ask for an extension of deadline for deciding on playing hosts of World T20, the logistical problem of flying the players back to India, along with the quarantine requirements may have pushed the ICC to set the ball rolling. No official confirmation of the move was available from the BCCI.