You must be excited about IPL finally happening but also might have several questions about the tournament in your mind. Among them, one to surely pop up is whether fans would be allowed in the stadiums or not?
Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) General Secretary Mubashshir Usmani is working with the United Arab Emirates government to chart out a protocol that could allow fans to witness live action from the stands. The matter will also be discussed with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) – who will have to agree to the same too.
And the fact that BCCI is conducting the tournament for ensuring the board doesn’t incur losses, it is unlikely that it would refrain.
“Having spectators in stadiums is subject to government approval. We will have a detailed discussion before deciding anything. There’s still time and we might consider it if the IPL is cleared to be held here,” Mubashir Usmani, general manager of Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), told The Telegraph from Dubai.
BCCI has also set up Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) guidelines that players will have to follow when in Dubai.
“The authorities will provide both us and the BCCI with the UAE safety guidelines in a timely manner which the teams and officials will follow. The SOP surrounding the arrangements are currently being prepared by these experts and once the authorities provide us with the finalized guidelines we can implement,” Usmani said
The COVID-19 situation in UAE is fairly under control. And players have also begun reaching UAE for the T20 league. Thus, the decision has to be made quick and guidelines, to ensure how everything is going to be managed, had to be laid.
“Hosting such a popular sporting event can only be considered as a very good thing for Cricket in and across the UAE. Exposing some of the best T20 sportspeople in the world to our resident and Emirati population will no doubt generate interest in the game – grassroots, amateur and professional levels.”
While the talk of having fans inside the stadiums does look flattering, it remains to be seen how the ECB and BCCI actually manage to pull it off.