Touch-up to Sharjah Cricket Stadium for IPL



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Major upgrades for Sharjah Cricket Stadium Image: Indian Express

The Sharjah Cricket Stadium, which will host 10 Indian Premier League (IPL) matches before the T20 World Cup, has announced major upgrades in the run-up to the conclusion of the IPL, which will be played from September 19th in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The ‘Gulf News’ stated that the first half of the IPL 2021 was played in India earlier this year, before it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Delta variant of which put the country in dire straits. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) then decided to shift the remaining matches to the UAE and now they will be played at Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

The 27,000-capacity Sharjah Cricket Stadium is in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. It holds the record for the most ODIs hosted in a venue with 236 ODIs up to February 19th, 2018. It was originally constructed in the early 1980s and has been much improved over the years.

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

Mumbai (India)-headquartered the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the governing body for cricket in India and is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. The Board was formed in December 1928 as a society, registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act.

A statement sent out by the Sharjah Cricket Stadium read, “The newly relaid wicket block will now accommodate six pitches in the center, including four broadcasting and two practice pitches. They are currently building a new practice facility with four turf wickets and four Astro-turf wickets to accommodate multiple teams during practice sessions. These will be ready in time for the IPL.”

The ‘Gulf News’ further stated that among other facilities, a state-of-the-art gymnasium, indoor swimming pool, steam room, and a sauna area have also been upgraded.

Moreover, there are 11 new VIP suites, a VIP grand dining area and improved hospitality facilities at the top tier of the pavilion end.

Stated Khalaf Bukhatir, Managing Director, Bukhatir Group and CEO, Sharjah Cricket Stadium, “Sharjah’s atmosphere or as we like to call it the ‘Sharjah magic’ is what differentiates the stadium from any other cricketing venue in the UAE. This was no more evident than at last year’s edition when we played host to some of the most exciting moments of the IPL. We still don’t know if we are welcoming cricket fans into the stadium this IPL, but we are certainly ready and looking forward to hosting some world-class cricket in a world-class, safe and secure environment.”

The first game will be played between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore on September 24th.

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