There is still a lot of uncertainty around the ICC T20 World Cup supposed to happen later this year. While India remain the designated hosts, United Arab Emirates has been finalised as a back-up venue due to the COVID-19 crisis in India which even led to the suspension of the 14th edition of Indian Premier League. And now Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani has made a big statement on the marquee event.
The PCB chief believes that the tournament is likely to be moved out of India and played in the UAE. This is because he feels that the COVID-19 situation will not allow proper planning and execution to host such a large scale event. He cited PCB's own experience of hosting Pakistan Super League as an example.
"The ICC T20 World Cup, which was supposed to be held in India, is now going to the UAE. India is forced to hold the remaining IPL 2021 matches in UAE also. As such Pakistan had no other choice but to shift the venue of the remaining PSL matches in Abu Dhabi," Mani was quoted as saying by thenews.com.pk.
"We had two options, either to cancel the remaining matches or look for a possible venue during the period when we have no other international commitments. This is the best time for us and we have decided to hold it in Abu Dhabi," he added.
Not easy to organise cricket matches these days, says PCB chairman
In addition, Mani acknowledged the difficulties in organising cricket matches during COVID-19 times. He remained firm that boards can't afford to take risks with regards to the health and safety of players and personnel involved.
"It is not easy to organize cricket matches these days. All the cricket boards are making adjustments and PCB has not done anything new. We cannot take any risk. It is the safety and security of the players and officials that should be our top priority," he said.