The T20 World Cup will return to India in 2021 as the BCCI successfully captured the hosting rights of the 2021 edition. The 2020 edition of the T20 World Cup will take place Down Under in Australia while the next edition is scheduled to be played in India.
The last time India hosted a T20 World Cup was in 2016 which saw West Indies defeat England in the final to become the first ever two-time champion of the WT20. Hosts India reached the semi-finals where they lost to the eventual champions Windies at the Wankhede Stadium.
Earlier, India had lost its first group stage match against New Zealand at Nagpur but the team bounced back to defeat Pakistan at Kolkata, Bangladesh at Bengaluru and Australia at Mohali to reach the 2nd stage. Out of all the group stage matches, India vs Pakistan has always been a crowd-puller and the same was the case in the 2016 tourney as the match witnessed a full house despite the rainy conditions.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) tries to keep the two teams in the same group to ensure at least one match between the two arch-rivals and the same can be expected for the 2021 T20 World Cup.
Here are the 5 stadiums which could host the iconic match in 2021-
#5 M.A Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai
Chennai has been the home ground of Dhoni's IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings and the fans have always turned up in huge numbers to support the home team. It recently hosted the 3rd T20I between India and West Indies and witnessed a handsome crowd. The only reason why this stadium may not be chosen is that the I, J and K stands are locked for fans.
And that might change by the time the 20221 edition comes around.
#4 Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium, Raipur
The Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium in Raipur is yet to host an international cricket match but has hosted several IPL and CLT20 matches in past. The stadium has also been the home ground of the Chattisgarh team. It has also been the venue for a one-day match between the Canadian cricket team and Chhatisgarh team.
It has a strong seating capacity of 65,000 and will soon be explored by BCCI as an international venue. Sunil Gavaskar and Irfan Pathan have heaped praise on the construction and facilities of the stadium and this stadium is expected to have hosted many international matches before the 2021 T20 World Cup.
#3 Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi
The Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium situated in the nation's capital has a seating capacity of 41,820 and is home to the IPL franchise Delhi Daredevils. Delhi is also home to the current Indian skipper Virat Kohli, opener Shikhar Dhawan and young talented wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant who have all grown up playing in the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium of Delhi.
The stadium is one of the oldest cricket stadiums of the world established back in 1883 and had also hosted matches of ICC WT20 2016. It had hosted the matches featuring the teams of England, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa and also the first semi-final between England and New Zealand.
However, the city could not play host to any of the matches featuring Team India which is the key reason why it can be chosen as the venue for the India-Pakistan clash in 2021.
#2 Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram
The Greenfield International Stadium of Thiruvananthapuram came into the spotlight after it became the 50th international venue to host a cricket match in India. It has hosted 1 T20I and 1 ODI thus far with India emerging victorious in both the matches.
The stadium, located in the state of Kerala has a seating capacity of 50,000 and both the matches hosted thus far in the stadium have witnessed a sea of blue as the fans turn up in huge numbers.
The stadium is yet to host a match of any ICC event but with the 2021 T20 World Cup taking place in India and also the ICC World Cup of 2023 scheduled to be hosted in the country, the BCCI can give some important matches to the stadium in Kerala.
The India-Pakistan clash of the 2021 WT20 would surely please the fans in Kerala as it has been a long time since they hosted a big match.
#1 Ahmedabad's New Stadium
The old Motera stadium of Ahmedabad, which hosted the quarter-final match between India and Australia in the ICC World Cup 2011 and the 2nd T20I between the India and Pakistan in 2012, has been broken to ground level as the Gujarat Cricket Association is constructing the world's largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.
The stadium in Ahmedabad is expected to be ready within the next 2 years and it will have a seating capacity of nearly 110,000. It will overtake the Eden Gardens stadium as the largest Indian cricket stadium and the Melbourne Cricket Ground of Australia as the largest cricket stadium in the world.
Which stadium do you think will host the "India vs Pakistan" match in the 2021 World Cup? Share your views in the comments box below.