IPL in UAE: The Emirates Cricket Board is eager to fill up 30-50 percent of the stadiums with spectators when the IPL is held in the UAE provided the government there approves, its secretary Mubashshir Usmani told PTI on Friday.
While announcing the dates of the IPL, its chairman Brijesh Patel had told PTI that the decision on letting in fans during the September 19-November 8 event will be taken by the UAE government.
Having announced the dates, the BCCI too is awaiting the final approval from the Indian government to host the IPL 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,” said Usmani over phone.
Mubashir Usmani stated that they are eager for their people to have live experience of the cash-rich league. However, it entirely depends on the decision of the government. He claimed that for most events here, the number of spectators ranges from thirty to fifty percent, and hence, they are targetting the same amount.
“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,” Usmani told PTI.
Usmani went on to hail the government of the nation for their measures, which proved as effective in bringing down the case numbers. He claimed that they are nearly living normal lives now with few rules and restrictions in place. Hence, by the time IPL arrives, he is bullish that the country’s state would get even better.
“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. And with the IPL still some time away, we will be in an even better place than what it is right now,” he added.
The IPL Governing Council will meet on Sunday to finalize the logistics and SOP for the world’s biggest T20 league. 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.
The initial commencing date of the tournament in 2020 was of the 29th of March and got postponed twice due to the explosion of COVID-19. Having announced the starting date, the BCCI awaits approval from the Indian government to stage the IPL in UAE.