New Delhi – Sports Reporter:
This year’s T20 World Cup will not take place in India, according to former Indian opener Aakash Chopra, amid the Covid-19 crisis.
Cricket officials suspended the money-spinning Indian Premier League (IPL), on Tuesday, as the pandemic spirals out of control, with the country adding 10 million cases in just over four months, after taking more than 10 months to reach the first 10 million.
Chopra believes that the event will be shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“I don’t think T20 World Cup will take place in India this year. I think it will be shifted to UAE, which was selected as the standby venue. I don’t think we can pull it off here [in India] due to rising cases,” said Chopra on his official YouTube channel.
“Even if we contain it, it’s just too much of a risk with people coming in and travelling to one city to the other. You just cannot do it,” he added.
With 3.45 million active cases, India recorded 357,229 new infections over the last 24 hours, while deaths rose by 3,449 to 222,408, health ministry data showed.
The IPL tournament, with an estimated brand value of $6.8 billion, was being played without spectators to a huge television audience in the cricket-obsessed nation but has been severely criticized for continuing while the healthcare system is falling apart.
The surge of the highly infectious Indian variant of the coronavirus has swamped hospitals and depleted supplies of oxygen, while sufferers have died in ambulances and car parks.