The president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Sourav Ganguly, has confirmed that the upcoming T20 World Cup scheduled to take place in India has been shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to health safety concerns posed by COVID-19.

“We have officially intimated the ICC that the T20 World Cup can be shifted to the United Arab Emirates. The details are being chalked out,” Ganguly told PTI.

“The decision was taken keeping health safety concerns of all stakeholders in mind,” he added.

At the start of the month, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had given a four-week window to the Indian cricket board to decide and inform whether India could host the marquee event concerning the novel coronavirus situation in the country.

Irrespective of the venue, the ICC has already made it clear that the apex Indian board will remain the hosts of the tournament.

Further, there has been speculation concerning the tournament would be held from October 17 to November 14 instead of the originally planned dates of October 18 to November 15. Reacting to this, Ganguly suggested that there will be an announcement soon on the schedule as no commencement date has been finalised yet.

“We will be able to finalise itinerary details in some days. October 17 start hasn’t yet been finalised,” the 48-year-old added further.

After its meeting in the first week of June, the ICC had stated that it is on the lookout for other venues apart from the three grounds in the UAE – Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Sharjah Cricket Stadium and Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium. For this, both ICC and BCCI have kept the Oman option open.

It is said that Oman could host the first-round games in which Sri Lanka, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Oman, Bangladesh, Namibia, Netherlands and Scotland will compete. Amongst all these, four teams will qualify for the Super 12 stage, for which India, Australia, England, South Africa, Pakistan, New Zealand, West Indies and Afghanistan have already qualified.

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