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Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
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Pakistan Super League 2021 To Be Held In Abu Dhabi Confirms Wasim Khan

Pakistan Super League 2021 which is in its 6th season had seen a surge of COVID-19 cases as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided to halt and postpone the ongoing tournament in March 2021.Only 14 games were completed in the 34-match tournament. The remaining 20 Pakistan Super League 2021 matches are scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from June 1-20.

Pakistan Super League 2021
Pakistan Super League 2021 Photo Credit: PCB.

Pakistan Super League 2021 Will Be Held In UAE’s Abu Dhabi As The Remaining Hurdles Have Been Sorted Out

The remainder of the truncated 6th edition of the Pakistan Super League 2021 is set to go ahead in Abu Dhabi after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed that they have received all outstanding approvals and exemptions from the United Arab Emirates government. The PCB will now hold an online meeting with the franchises later today to apprise them of the situation and finalize all the details, which will be shared in due course.

“We are delighted with this development as the remaining hurdles in the staging of the remaining HBL PSL 6 matches in Abu Dhabi have been overcome and all systems are now good to go,” Wasim Khan, PCB’s Chief Executive, said.

Pakistan Super League (Image Source: Google)
Pakistan Super League (Image Source: Google)

“We are grateful to the UAE government, National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, Emirates Cricket Board, and Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their support and patronage in ensuring all final obstacles were removed, which has firmly put us in a position to complete our marquee event. The PCB, in consultation with the team owners, will now work at pace to finalize all event-related arrangements, details of which will be shared in due course,” he added.

The tournament, which originally started on February 20th in a special set-up bio-bubble in Karachi, had to be halted after only 14 games were completed as cases of Covid-19 arose due to a breach of the bio-bubble.

PSL 6 Was Postponed After Completion Of 14 Games As Tom Banton And Fawad Ahmed Contracted The Dreaded Virus

The 15th game of the Pakistan Super League 2021 between Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United, had to be postponed after Australia’s Fawad Ahmed tested positive for COVID-19. Subsequently, three more cases including England’s Tom Banton were reported across teams, forcing the immediate suspension of the league.

The PCB then finalized the schedule for the rest of the Pakistan Super League 2021, to be played in a stricter bio-bubble in Karachi, starting from June 1st. But the worsening Covid-19 situation in Karachi forced the franchises to write to PCB seeking that the tournament is moved out, preferably to the UAE – which has in the past successfully hosted the tournament.

England batsman Tom Banton tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan.
England batsman Tom Banton tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan. (Source: Twitter/ Getty Images)

However, their plans met with an unexpected objection from the UAE government which insisted everyone coming into the city/state should have taken vaccination. The PCB contended that it had no control over foreign technicians and television crew members travelling from different countries including India.

Following this, the PCB held a meeting with the Emirates Cricket Board and is understood to have given 24 hours to the board to resolve the matters. Simultaneously, the Pakistan board officials also apprised the six PSL franchises of the developments. All parties involved later agreed to wait for 24 hours.

Apart from the positive cases but there were breaches also reported of the bio-bubble prepared by the PCB. Peshawar Zalmi’s Wahab Riaz and Darren Sammy had met their franchise owner, who was not part of the bubble. Pakistan-born Australian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed had tested positive for the coronavirus before the game between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators on March 1. The game was thereafter postponed to March 2 after initially being deferred until 9 PM.

MI vs CSK, Pitch report, IPL 2020, UAE, MS Dhoni
Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni with the IPL trophy (Image Credit: BCCI.)
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IPL 2020: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings- Pitch Report and Weather Forecast

Finally, the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 is set to begin from the 19th of September with the match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians. The outbreak of the coronavirus had ended all the hopes of the hosting of the series but the sport has found its way amid the pandemic. 

However, IPL 2020 is not being played in India because of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. But BCCI has taken the entire league to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The whole 53 days long league will be played there in three venues- Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah. 

The much-awaited season opener will be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. So, let us have a look at how the pitch and weather will look like there. 

IPL 2020, Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings: Pitch Report

Sheikh Zayed Stadium, IPL 2020, Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings: Pitch Report
Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Image Credit: Twitter

The pitch at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium is understood to be slowish and spin-friendly. So, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings will include those batsmen or bowlers in the final XI who master a spin. CSK has Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja as two main spinners while MI has spinners Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya in their squad

A target above 150 would be enough to put the opposition under pressure and could be easily defended. 

IPL 2020, Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings: Weather Report

CSK, MI,
MI vs CSK, Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

Several players, including AB de Villiers, have shown concern over the hot and humid temperatures in the UAE. The heat might be a hurdle for bowlers as well as batsmen to be consistent during the IPL 2020. 

But fortunately, the matches are scheduled in the evening which a great relief for the players. Throughout the day, the temperature is expected to go as high as 41 degrees celsius but it will come down to around 31 degrees.

Chris Lynn
Chris Lynn. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
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Chris Lynn Lands in Abu Dhabi To Join Mumbai Indians Teammates Ahead Of IPL 2020

Australian opening batter and power-hitting sensation, Chris Lynn has arrived in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday (September 8), to join Mumbai Indians squad for the impending Indian Premier League (IPL 2020). The much-awaited cash-rich league will begin on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after being deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 30-year-old Brisbane-born Lynn had reached Dubai after partaking in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.

Mumbai Indians camp has a lot of expectations on Chris Lynn during IPL 2020:

Chris Lynn Venky Mysore IPL 2018
Chris Lynn is expected to be fir for the season opener for KKR, feels franchise CEO Venky Mysore. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Leaving behind his poor run of form on Windies shores, Lynn would be aiming to deliver goods for Mumbai Indians. Recently, he had managed just 138 runs in nine outings as his side was unsuccessful on reaching the semis of the CPL 2020.

After landing in Abu Dubai, Lynn will undergo mandatory six-day quarantine at his dedicated hotel room amid the COVID-19 challenges.

It becomes an important part to consider that Lynn had to return negative on three instances, to join his team for the training before the upcoming edition of the IPL. During the IPL Players’ Auction 2020, Indians picked Lynn at his base price of INR two crore.

The 13th season of the IPL will be played across major cities including Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Recently, the competition was given a green signal by the world’s powerful cricket board – Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after the management was in talks with the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) government.

Mumbai Indians ready as Chris Lynn reaches Abu Dhabi:

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians. Credits: BCCI/IPL

Pertinently, earlier this month, Trent Boult and Aussie fast bowler James Pattinson had joined their Mumbai Indians teammates.

Pattinson inked a deal after being signed as a replacement for legendary Lasith Malinga. The Sri Lankan veteran had pulled out of the IPL 13 after citing personal reasons for his unavailability.

“Chris Lynn arrived at Abu Dhabi in the morning today. Trent Boult and James Pattinson had joined the team last week,” Mumbai Indians revealed in its official statement.

After being moved out of the cricket-crazy nation — India, the mega tournament will run until November 10 in the UAE given to the bio-secure bubble environment.

The four-time champions, Mumbai Indians will face three-time champions – Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the tournament opener of the IPL 2020 at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Chris Lynn, who made IPL debut in 2012 and represented Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), had so far featured in 41 IPL matches. He had amassed 1280 runs at an average of 33.7. The elegant stroke-maker had 10 fifties to his name. It remains to be seen how Chris Lynn will go about the lung-opener.

COVID-19 Affecting BCCI's Revenue: Reduced IPL 2020's Sponsorship Deal; No Kit Sponsor For Team India
Image credit: BCCI.
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Reason Behind Delay In BCCI’s Proclamation Of IPL 2020 Schedule?

Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) delay in announcement of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 schedule has frustrated the fans as well the franchises. Although the league is set to start from 19th September, there is no official statement from the Indian board about the fixtures of the tournament. Currently, the only reason which can be understood for BCCI’s delay is the surge in coronavirus cases in Abu Dhabi, one of the venues for hosting IPL.

For the smooth running of the T20 League, the board took the whole league outside India in the UAE but the unprecedented virus has marred all plans. After increasing cases in Abu Dhabi, the UAE government has made the COVID-19 test mandatory in its entry-exit points. It means the players when travelling from or to Abu Dhabi, they would have to first clear the test and then would be allowed to travel.

BCCI in talks with UAE government:

BCCI, IPL 2020, UAE, Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni with the IPL trophy (Image Credit: BCCI.)

IPL Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel and interim BCCI CEO Hemang Amin are in talks with the UAE government to give some relaxation in the COVID-19 test. According to a source, the Indian board is getting permission to do COVID tests on IPL squad members in their hotels. The reason being that if one is going from Dubai to Abu Dhabi COVID-testing is done at the border and it takes up to two-and-a-half hours. Alternately, one has to produce a certificate of a negative result of a test done within the last 48 hours.

“But you do not expect the likes of Dhoni and Kohli to stand in the queue for that long. So, BCCI is trying to get permission to do COVID tests on IPL squad members in their hotels,” a source in a franchise told IANS from the UAE.

BCCI is also considering to remove Abu Dhabi from their hosting venue. However, KKR and MI squad is based there so it will create another chaos for them and increase their expenditure.

CSK’s positive cases:

IPL
IPL (Credit: BCCI)

Also, the spread of the coronavirus cases in the CSK camp has warned other franchises to be more cautious with the player’s safety. It has also played a part in hindering the IPL’s scheduled announcement because CSK and MI are expected to play the opener match being the runner up and defending champion respectively. However, it is not confirmed whether the yellow army would be ready to play the match on 19th September.

All in all, the situation on all fronts is fluid, and everyone is keeping his fingers crossed.

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