With a sharp decline in COVID-19 cases in India, the world’s richest cricket body – Board of Control for Cricket in India – BCCI – doesn’t even feel the need to currently look at a back-up overseas venue for hosting the next edition of the Indian Premier League, treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal said on Saturday. Dhumal, who is also on the IPL Governing Council, confirmed that the board is confident that it would be able to host the 2021 edition of the cash-rich T20 league at home unlike the previous edition, which was held in the UAE due to the pandemic.Also Read - Omicron in Community Transmission Stage in India, Dominant Strain in Metro Cities, Confirms Govt Body

He also spoke on getting the crowds back to stadiums partially, the BCCI’s move to not go ahead with Ranji Trophy this season, India’s triumph in Australia, COVID-19 vaccination for players and women’s cricket.
“We are working on having the IPL in India and we are hopeful that we would be able to organise it. We are not even thinking of a back up also at this point in time, we are wanting to do it here. Also Read - Are Cloth Masks Really Helpful? Health Experts Answer

“India is probably safer than UAE at this point. Hopefully, the situation remains stable and keep improving and we will have it here,” said Dhumal. Also Read - India Sees Dip In COVID Cases With Over 3.33 Lakh New Infections; 525 Fatalities In 24 Hours

Meanwhile, UAE is experiencing a spike in Coronavirus cases. The seven-day average caseload in the UAE has gone up to 3743, up from 770 when the IPL 2020 began on September 19. India, much bigger in size and population, were recording 90000 cases a day in September, but the numbers have now come down to below 15000.

After the boards of both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during last year’s IPL, the Arab nation was seen as a back-up option to host the world’s premier T20 event this season too.

The BCCI also had to take a tough call on not having Ranji Trophy in the much-delayed ongoing season, deciding, instead, to have the Vijay Hazare Trophy along with the U-19 one-day event and women’s cricket.

“We took feedback from the players, selection committee, state associations. It was felt that 2020 is already gone and rather than having two Ranji events in the same calendar year, it is better to go for white-ball cricket.

“That way we could have something for junior cricket and women considering the importance of of Women’s World Cup and U-19 World Cup next year.

“Rather than having one tournament, we thought of having events in different categories,” said Dhumal, adding that players will be duly compensated for not getting to play in Ranji Trophy this season.