Dougie Brown, the Director of Cricket at the Abu Dhabi club is excited about the huge fan base of the Indian Premier League ahead of its 13th edition, which is being hosted in the UAE. According to BARC, the 2019 edition of the IPL enjoyed a 462 million viewership on Star network channels between March 23 and May 12th.
The increase in viewership last year rose by 12% in comparison to the 2018 season. With no fans allowed at stadium initially, amidst the coronavirus induced pandemic, the BCCI is expecting a huge rise in the TV viewership.
Dougie Brown on IPL fan-base:
In this regard, Director of Cricket at the Abu Dhabi club Dougie Brown has expressed his thrill to be a part of the cash-rich event, hosted by the BCCI. The IPL 2020 opener, between the Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, is scheduled to be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
“The Indian supporters are fanatical about the IPL so it’s going to be great exposure for Abu Dhabi and the region as a whole to be hosting it. It’s a pretty buoyant atmosphere around the place at the moment,” Brown was quoted as saying by Herald Scotland.
The Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi cost $22 million to build and is arguably one of the world’s finest cricket grounds. It was opened in May 2004. The venue is about 30 minutes drive from the city centre and is located in a remote area.
Abu Dhabi Has An Amazing Facility And Dougie Brown Is Looking Forward To Start Of IPL
Three stadiums — the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai, the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi and the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah — will play host to the IPL 2020 season.
The tournament will start with a Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians blockbuster opening match in Abu Dhabi on September 19. All the teams will be alternating between the three venues over the round-robin stage, with Dubai hosting 24 matches, Abu Dhabi 20 and Sharjah 12.
“We built an air bridge so the IPL players didn’t have to isolate for 14 days at their hotel when they arrived and also created a bio-bubble at the stadium that can only be accessed by the players. So we can see them from a distance but not get too close.
“But I know that preparations have been going really well and I’m really looking forward to the event starting. Even if we can’t get fans into the ground you know there are going to be hundreds of millions of people watching every game on TV,” Brown explained.
“And on top of that I’m in charge of the whole development pathway at Abu Dhabi. It’s an amazing facility that hosts lots of different sports and they’ve got some really good ideas about where they want to take their cricket,” he added.
Located in Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium (constructed in 2004) is named after President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The stadium has a capacity of 20,000.
The first match on the ground was played in November 2004 between Scotland and Kenya in the Intercontinental Cup while the most recent international match was the USA vs Canada T20I last year.