The second leg of the Indian Premier League is set to kick off in UAE from September 19 to October 15, which was earlier suspended in the first week of May. Followed by the IPL, UAE is set to host the ICC T20 World Cup, starting October 17, which was shifted from India owing to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in the country.
With 2 major tournaments being hosted back-to-back at a venue, it has given rise to many speculations about the pitch conditions. Recently, South Africa’s coach Mark Boucher expressed that IPL will wear out the UAE pitches ahead of the T20 World Cup and fears the pitch conditions especially for the batsmen.
I suspect spinner will play a massive role: Boucher
The South African coach feels that, since the T20 World Cup will be played after a month of cricket on the UAE pitches, it’ll be a big struggle for the batsmen to score runs, with the wickets being a bit dry. “It’s going to be tough to bat on especially at the back end as we saw here. We will have an idea of what scores are going to be by watching the IPL and then taking a look and assess how the wickets are playing during the beginning part of the World Cup,” Boucher mentioned highlighting that spinners will play a key role in the T20 World Cup.
Tolerance Oval – Abu Dhabi stadium’s expansion, a possible new venue in UAE?
Ever since the COVID-19 crisis has hit the cricketing world, UAE and especially Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium has been quite busy over the last one year, with an increase in the number of games being played. To turn down the pressure on the stadium, Abu Dhabi Cricket has planned on expanding and has come up with – Tolerance Oval, a floodlit broadcast ready stadium with 5 playing surfaces. However, it’s yet to receive ICC’s accreditation and if received soon, it will reduce a lot of pressure from the Sheikh Zayed Stadium during the two mega events lined up in the September-November window.
"Hopefully in six weeks' time we will have the accreditation for that oval, and then it's over to the decision-makers if they want to use it for any upcoming tournaments or whether we use it for practice," Abu Dhabi Cricket’s Chief Executive said.
With that being done, the Tolerance Oval could possibly act as the fourth venue in UAE besides Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.