IPL 2020: Emirates Cricket Board to fill 30 to 50 per cent of stadiums in UAE

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jul 31, 2020, 07.10 PM(IST)

Indian Premier League Photograph:( Twitter )

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The Emirates Cricket Board is looking to fill-up 30 to 50 per cent of the stadiums with crowds when the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 kickstarts in the UAE following government approval, ECB secretary Mubashshir Usmani said on Friday.

The Emirates Cricket Board is looking to fill-up 30 to 50 per cent of the stadiums with crowds when the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 kickstarts in the UAE following government approval, ECB secretary Mubashshir Usmani said on Friday.

Earlier, IPL Governing Council Chairman Brijesh Patel had said that the decision on the crowds will be on the UAE government. After announcing the dates of IPL 2020, i.e September 19 to November 8, BCCI is awaiting Indian government’s approval to shift the cash-rich tournament in the UAE. 

"Once we get the confirmation from the BCCI (on Indian government's approval), we will go to our government with the complete proposal and SOPs which will be prepared by us and the BCCI," Usmani told PTI.

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"We will definitely want our people to experience this prestigious event but it is totally the government's decision. For most events here, the number ranges from thirty to 50 percent capacity, we are looking at a similar number.

"We are hopeful of getting our government's approval on that," he added.

The UAE has just over 6000 active cases of coronavirus and the overall situation around the dreaded virus is under control. Usmani said that people in the UAE are living almost a normal life with certain rules and protocols while adding the situation will be better by the time IPL starts. 

"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.

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"And with the IPL still some time way, we will be in an even better place than what it is right now."

The IPL Governing Council will meet on Sunday to take a final call on the logistics and SOP for the biggest T20 tournament. 

Usmani said the UAE is ready to host the event and is only awaiting the Indian government's approval, "which should come through soon", going by what Patel said at the time of announcing the tournament dates.

"We are still waiting to hear from the BCCI on the Indian government's approval. Having said that, we are ready," Usmani said.

"We have plug and play facilities here and have informed them (officials at Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah stadiums) to be ready and they are fully aware of it."

Asked if managing the training schedules of eight teams will be a challenge, Usmani said: "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."

The UAE had partially hosted the IPL in 2014 due to the general elections in India.

"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.

(With PTI inputs)