Indo-Pak cricket
File photo. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: This year’s Twenty20 World Cup could be moved to the UAE if the COVID-19 crisis does not subside in India, the country’s cricket board said.

Six months before the showpiece’s scheduled start, India reported a record 386,452 new cases on Friday, though medical experts believe actual numbers may much more.

The governing International Cricket Council (ICC) said this month it was sticking to hosting the event in India but had backup plans, without specifying an alternative location.

“It would be the UAE,” Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) general manager Dhiraj Malhotra told the BBC on Thursday. “We’ll take the tournament there, but it’ll still be done by the BCCI.” An ICC spokesman confirmed the plan to Reuters.

The governing body is monitoring the progress of the Indian Premier League, which is continuing in the pandemic. “It is too early to make a call,” the spokesman said.

The pandemic forced the Indian board to stage last year’s IPL in the UAE. The BCCI last year signed a hosting agreement with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB).

Last year’s Indian Premier League was held in the UAE after being delayed and then relocated from India.