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Sri Lanka emerges as darkhorse to host T20 World Cup?

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Sri Lanka has emerged as the dark horse to host the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, which is scheduled to be hosted by India. Given the situation around COVID-19 in India, there have been talks between BCCI and the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) in relation to hosting the T20 World Cup 2021.

According to a report in ANI, BCCI officials have been in talks with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) as well.

“See, there is no denying the fact that BCCI and ECB officials have been having discussions on taking the showpiece event to UAE with an eye on the COVID-19 situation in India. But, what also needs to be kept in mind here is that hosting the IPL would mean quite a few games, not to forget other tournaments or matches that might be held in some of the venues and tired wickets by the time of the World Cup,” a source close to the development told ANI.

“Keeping the playing conditions in mind, there have been some talks with SLC officials and just basic discussions to be honest. Too early to get into the details, but we still have some time before we need to get back to the ICC to inform them on the situation as the BCCI will continue to have the hosting rights even if it is played outside India,” the source explained.

While UAE has just three venues in Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi; Sri Lanka will provide more options when it comes to hosting games. The city of Colombo itself has three stadiums. Notably, SLC had also made its intentions clear for hosting IPL 2021 in the September-October window.

“See, these are tough times and with COVID-19 it is an ever-changing situation. So, don’t think the host broadcasters would mind backing BCCI if they look at Sri Lanka as an option to host the showpiece event. Keeping options open is not a bad thing,” the source said.

“First and foremost, the BCCI needs to submit the tax exemption guarantee by June 15 and things will start rolling one after the other with the Indian board also needing to inform the ICC by June 28 about the position with regards to hosting the event in the country,” the source pointed.

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