The tournament will be played in United Arab Emirates due to the Covid-19 situation in India and travel restrictions stemming from it, says a top official of Indian cricket board.

West Indies's players celebrate with the trophy after victory in 2016 T20 World Cup.
West Indies's players celebrate with the trophy after victory in 2016 T20 World Cup. (AFP Archive)

The Twenty20 World Cup will be moved to the United Arab Emirates from India due to the coronavirus pandemic, the country's cricket chief Sourav Ganguly has said.

"We have officially intimated the ICC (International Cricket Council) that the T20 World Cup can be shifted to the United Arab Emirates," Ganguly, president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said on Monday. 

BCCI had told the world body of its decision to host the event in the UAE in October and November.

Ganguly added that "the details are being chalked out".

BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla said the qualifiers may take place in Oman while the rest of the matches will be at three UAE venues including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

The ICC had given the BCCI a deadline of the end of June to decide the host country for T20's showpiece event due the Covid situation in India.

Brutal surge in infections

India, the world's second most populous nation, has eased some lockdown restrictions in recent weeks as it emerges from a brutal surge in infections and deaths in April and May.

The BCCI had already moved the suspended Indian Premier League to the UAE in September-October after the T20 tournament was halted on May 4 following a number of players and team officials getting infected with Covid.

India reported 46,148 new infections over the past 24 hours, data from the Health Ministry showed.

The South Asian country's total Covid-19 case load now stands at 30.27 million, while total fatalities are at 396,730, the data showed. 

India's coronavirus-related deaths rose by 979 overnight. 

READ MORE: New Zealand trounce India to win inaugural World Test Championship

Preferred venue for South Asian teams

India's slim chances of hosting the 16-team World Cup effectively evaporated in May when the BCCI had to suspend the India Premier League (IPL) as cases surged in the country.

The BCCI announced last month the remaining IPL matches would be played in the UAE, which has been the back-up venue for the 16-team World Cup.

The UAE hosted IPL's entire 2020 season as well as the final phase of this year's Pakistan Super League.

Source: AFP