Mubasher Usmani (left), the General Secretary of the Emirates Cricket Board Image Credit: ECB

Dubai: The UAE has made known to the International Cricket Council (ICC) that they will be interested in hosting world cricket events. The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has been included in the list of cricket boards from around the world who would be willing to be considered to stage the next cycle of global cricket events.

Speaking to Gulf News, Mubashir Usmani, General Secretary of the ECB, said: “We have submitted our Expression of Interest (EOI) to stage global events. The ICC meeting which could be held in June is likely to make the decision based on the bidding from member nations.”

The ICC’s global events for an eight-year period from 2023 to 2031 is in for allotment from the ICC.

Elaborating further, Usmani added: “We have expressed our interest to host the Under-19 and World Cup qualifiers. We have also expressed our keenness to host big events based on our infrastructure. For example, an event like the Champions Trophy did not require more than three or four grounds. So we have expressed our interest for events like that.”

The UAE had hosted the 2014 Under-19 World Cup and also been regularly staging World Cup qualifier matches for various formats over the years.

“We have also expressed interest in staging women’s cricket events as well as for tournaments that do not require about seven grounds,” noted Usmani.

It is understood that the ICC has received EOI from 18 member boards. UAE has staged the Asia Cup on behalf of the Asian Cricket Council thrice and was to the stage the 2020 edition of the event in September when the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in uncertainty over the dates.

Some of the big global ICC events between 2023 and 2031 will be the 2023 Women’s ODI Champions Cup, 2024 men’s and women’s T20 Champions Cup, 2025 World Test Championship final, 2026 men’s and women’s T20 World Cup, 2027 World Test Championship final, Men’s ODI World Cup and Women’s ODI Champions Cup, 2028 Men’s and women’s Champions Cup, 2029 World Test Championship final, Men’s ODI Champions Cup, Women’s ODI World Cup, 2030 Men’s and Women’s T20 World Cup, 2031 Men’s World Test Championship final, and Men’s ODI World Cup.

The next step after the EOI will be a formal submission of a Request For Proposal (RFP) process, which will run for six months. Members will be asked to respond to the RFP and submit a proposal detailing infrastructure, growth in the market, and development of sports in the country. Guarantees with regard to visas and tax exemptions and security will also be needed.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is also among the nations that have shown interest in staging global events. Pakistan have not been unable to stage global events since the 2009 terror attack in Lahore as due to security reasons teams were not ready to play in Pakistan. The PCB will now join hands with ECB to stage events which they may get allotted.

The PCB chairman in a podcast released on the PCB’s official website, said: “We had expressed an interest to host five to six events and, frankly, it is likely we won’t be getting more than one or two. But we also thought out of the box to bid jointly with another country. I have already begun speaking with the Emirates Cricket Board for a team-up to increase the chances of hosting some of it together but, again, it needs cooperation. There are a few events with 16 games and then there are events with 30-40 games, so depending on the scale, the workload can be divided between us,” he added.

Mani also said that ideally they would like ICC tournaments in Pakistan. “We intend to make a very serious expression of our interest on this matter and we will be getting full government support as well,” he said.

Pakistan has hosted two World Cups in 1987 and 1996 but could not jointly host 2011 World Cup along with India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka over security concerns.