The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is hopeful of getting the government’s clearance to fill 30-50 % of the stadiums with spectators for IPL 2020, which is scheduled to be held in the country from 19 September to 10 November.
“We will definitely want our people to experience this prestigious event but it is totally the government’s decision,” UAE board secretary Mubashshir Usmani said. “For most events here, the number ranges from 30 to 50% capacity, we are looking at a similar number. We are hopeful of getting our government’s approval on that.”
Currently, the UAE has just over 6200 active cases of COVID-19, and Usmani believed that it would reduce further by the time the IPL gets underway.
“The UAE government has been very efficient in bringing down the case numbers,” he said. We are almost living a normal life with certain rules and protocols to be followed. And with the IPL still some time way, we will be in an even better place than what it is right now.”
However, the 2020 Dubai Rugby Sevens event, scheduled in November, has been cancelled for the first time sine 1970 due to the coronavirus threat.
South African players likely to miss start of IPL
A recent declaration from the South African government also hampered their plans as the country has been put under lockdown. International travel has been banned until the end of September. This means players like AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, Quinton de Kock, and others won’t be able to join their respective teams during the early part of the showpiece event.
The biggest buy among the South African players in this year’s auction was Chris Morris, who was bought by RCB in a whopping 10 crores deal.
Due to the same reason, none of the South African players except Imran Tahir went on to play the Caribbean Premier League. The CPL will kick-off from 18 August. Tahir, who is in Pakistan right now was able to arrange his travel on time. He is expected to join his IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings from the beginning as well.