UAE board want spectators in IPL stadiums

Permission being sought

The Emirates Cricket Board is seeking permission to fill 30 to 50% of stadiums with spectators during this year's Indian Premier League.

The bulk of international sport that has resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic has been played without spectators. The 2020 IPL will be hosted in the United Arab Emirates rather than India this year.

“We will definitely want our people to experience this prestigious event but it is totally the government's decision,” UAE board secretary Mubashshir Usmani told PTI.

“For most events here, the number ranges from 30 to 50% capacity, we are looking at a similar number. We are hopeful of getting our government's approval on that.

“The UAE government has been very efficient in bringing down the case numbers. We are almost living a normal life with certain rules and protocols to be followed. And with the IPL still some time way, we will be in an even better place than what it is right now.

“UAE is blessed with the support of private infrastructure. We are able to deliver such events and have delivered before. Last year, we hosted the T20 World Cup qualifier which had 14 teams.”

IPL in the UAE in 2014

The IPL was hosted in South Africa in 2009. In 2014, it was played in the UAE for the first time. Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi were the host cities.

“Last time also, it contributed significantly to the UAE economy. With the full tournament taking place this time, it will be a much bigger boost,” added Usmani.

The 2020 IPL will start on 19 September and end on 8 November. It will be preceded by the Caribbean Premier League in Trinidad and Tobago.

Previous IPL champions

The Mumbai Indians are the reigning champions. They beat the Chennai Super Kings in the 2019 final. Mumbai have won the IPL title on four occasions. Chennai have three titles.

The Kolkata Knight Riders have two titles. The Rajasthan Royals won the first IPL in 2008. The Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals have never won the IPL.

The T20 World Cup was meant to be played in Australia later this year. The tournament, however, has been postponed to 2021. The West Indies are the current T20 World Cup champions. They won their second title in 2016.

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Jonhenry dedicates his global gaming knowledge to the iGaming industry. He produces content about cricket, in addition to playing and training.