The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) secretary Mubashshir Usmani has informed that they are looking to fill 30 to 50% of the stadium during the Indian Premier League in September-November. However, the final call will be taken by the UAE government.
UAE is among the least hit area from the infectious virus. As of now, there are 6,597 active COVID-19 cases and 351 people have died because of the virus. They have also less lockdown restrictions as compared to India.
ECB looking for Indian government’s approval to host IPL:
Although IPL chairman Brijesh Patel has officially announced the hosting dates of the IPL 2020, Usmani said that the board is still waiting for the final confirmation from the Indian government to host the league.
Patel also informed media that the IPL might be hosted with spectators after the UAE government’s approval. The spectators will have to follow social distancing and health guidelines.
“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,” said Usmani over the phone.
“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 is capable of hosting such events: Usmani
The coronavirus pandemic has made every aspect uncertain. To arrange and host the whole event in a foreign land, might be a difficult task for the UAE. However, when Usmani was asked if managing the training schedules of eight teams will be a challenge, he said that the board is capable of organizing such events.
“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 but this time, they would be hosting the whole event. Three venues — Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dabhi — have been proposed to host the entire league over 51 days.