The second phase of the Indian Premier League 2021 is all set to commence on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates. While there were speculations on the way the tournament will be hosted after it was moved to the Middle East country keeping in mind the COVID-19 crisis in India, there are some hopes of having crowds for these matches. Even IPL 2020 was staged entirely in UAE but that had happened inside closed doors.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) treasurer Arun Dhumal has now suggested that the Indian cricket board is working hard to get the crowds in at UAE. He also outlined that the final call will be based on the decision taken by the UAE government and the board will keep the safety of players as their first priority.
Earlier there were reports doing the rounds that the local government has allowed 60 per cent crowds in the stadiums for IPL 2021. Notably, the country is also to host the T20 World Cup right after the IPL. The positive aspect is that several people have already been vaccinated in UAE which increases the likelihood of the government considering crowds for these sporting events.
This would be the last season of IPL with eight teams: Dhumal
"We are working on that and we are hoping that the UAE government will allow the crowd this time since everyone is vaccinated there. Let’s see what happens. Hopefully, fans will be allowed but not at the cost of players’ or peoples’ safety — that is more important. Rest is on the UAE government to decide," BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal was quoted as saying by Latestly.com
"Everybody is looking up to the IPL now; we believe it will be an exciting tournament in UAE. This would be the last season of IPL with eight teams. Most likely there will be 10 teams next time. We are working on that too," he added.
While the IPL final is scheduled on October 15, the T20 World Cup will commence on October 17. However, the Super 12 matches will begin a few days later which will give Indian players a few days to rest and regroup. India are set to take on Pakistan in their first match of the competition on October 24.