IPL fixtures to be back in UAE stadia



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Fans will return to UAE venues to IPL Image: Visit Abu Dhabi

The likes of Virat Kohli (captain of the Indian national cricket team), as well as Indian cricketers Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant, South African cricketer Kagiso Rabada and the Australian cricketer Steve Smith will have their adoring fans applauding their performances in UAE when the world’s biggest franchise league – Indian Premier League (IPL) – resumes on September 19th.

The ‘Khaleej Times’ stated that the resumption of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in UAE will also see the return of the proverbial 12th man – fan – at the stadia in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah when the pandemic-disrupted T20 league restarts here on September 19th.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed on September 15th that fans would be allowed to attend the remaining IPL matches in UAE.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a professional Twenty20 cricket league contested by eight teams based out of eight different Indian Cities. The league was founded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2007.

The eight IPL teams are Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Defending champions Mumbai Indians will face Chennai Super Kings in the first match when the tournament resumes at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium coming Sunday.

The ‘Khaleej Times’ further stated that the 25,000-capacity Dubai International Stadium, formerly known as the Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium, is a multipurpose stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is mainly used for cricket and is one of three stadiums in the country, the other two being the 27,000-capacity Sharjah Cricket Stadium and the 20,000-capacity Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

An IPL statement read, “This match will be a momentous occasion as IPL will welcome the fans back to the stadiums after a brief hiatus owing to COVID-19 situation.”

The BCCI was forced to suspend the IPL in May with 31 matches left to play after the COVID-19 virus breached the bio-bubble infecting several players and back room staff across teams when India was grappling with a deadly second wave of the pandemic which saw body bags piling up and a tragedy of Herculean proportion broke out.

Having staged a highly successful IPL in a safe and secure environment last year in UAE, the BCCI decided to bring the remaining matches of the 2021 season here.

“Matches will be played at Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi with limited seating available keeping in mind the COVID protocols and UAE Government regulations,” the Indian cricket board said on Wednesday.

The organizers did not reveal the number of fans that can attend matches in the IPL. It’s expected that only the vaccinated fans will be allowed in the matches during the tournament.

The tickets for the remaining matches of the popular T20 tournament will go on sale from September 16th, the cricket board said.

“Fans can buy tickets from September 16th for the remainder of the tournament on the official website www.iplt20.com. Tickets can also be purchased on PlatinumList.net,” BCCI said.

The 2020 edition of the cash-rich league was held behind closed doors in UAE and the first leg of this year’s event in India was also staged in front of empty stands.

Cricket will now follow football in allowing fans back at the UAE stadiums.

Last month, the UAE Pro League, in coordination with the UAE Football Association and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, had announced the return of vaccinated fans to stadia at 60 percent capacity in Pro League, Pro League Cup and UAE Super Cup football matches for the 2021-2022 seasons.

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