Former Team India captain and the current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has emphasised on the possibility of hosting the India versus England series at home soils, but the COVID-19 situation in the country has opened up the United Arab Emirates- the hosts for the 2020 Indian Premier League season- as a feasible option.
India has been one of the worst-hit countries in the ongoing novel Coronavirus pandemic, with over 60 lakh confirmed cases to date. While world sports, including cricket, has slowly seen a resumption across the globe, hosting any sporting event or tournament in India bears a high-risk factor.
The surging number of COVID cases in India also saw the 13th IPL season currently being hosted away in UAE, with all the SOP and health guidelines in effect.
Sourav Ganguly points out the three-stadium advantage in UAE
Speaking about the possibility of a series against England happening in the foreseeable future, Sourav Ganguly emphasised that the governing body is aiming to host the series in India. However, the BCCI prez also hinted that UAE is also a likely option to explore, with the advantage of having three venues which are also hosting the IPL 2020 matches.
“We will try to make this (India vs England series) happen on Indian grounds. The advantage in UAE is they have three stadiums (Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai),” Ganguly said in a media interaction on Monday.
Namely, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Cricket Stadium and the Dubai International Stadium are the three venues for IPL 2020.
While they can work as hosts for the upcoming England series, Ganguly also addressed the same option in India- the Brabourne Stadium (owned by the Cricket Club of India,) the Wankhede Stadium and also the Dy Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, and also named Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.
“We also have the same facility in Mumbai- CCI, Wankhede and DY Patil. We also have Eden Gardens,” Dada went on, “We have to create a bubble. We want to hold our cricket in India, that’s where the game is, that’s where the heart is. But we are monitoring the COVID situation.”
“Everything is fluid. It’s been hard for the last six months to keep everything in order. You want your cricket to happen. You want lives to get back to normal, there are players involved. But you also want to have a close look at the COVID situation,” Ganguly added.