A girl takes a selfie with Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak during a yoga event in Abu Dhabi.
The UAE is set to add another feather to its cap by hosting the cricket’s biggest extravaganza – Indian Premier League – at the time of pandemic after the clearance by the Indian government.
The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed on Tuesday that they have received the official clearance from the BCCI to host the 13th edition of the India’s most prestigious and popular tournament IPL.
Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, Chairman of the Emirates Cricket Board said; “We feel extremely privileged to host what could be considered the pinnacle-event of our favourite sport. The magnitude of being in a position to bring the IPL to the vast cricket-loving global community, during current events which have greatly impacted our daily lives, is one we take with extreme importance.”
Sheikh Nahyan played a vital role in hosting the event in 2014 when the tournament was moved outside the country in the wake of general elections.
He added: “This is undoubtedly the highest-profile cricketing-event to be held in the UAE and our team will continue to support all facets (of the tournament) and work toward delivering a successful event for the enjoyment of all sports-fans; here in the UAE, in India and across the world.”
Scheduled to be played from Sept.19 through to Nov.10, 2020 the IPL will be played across the three venues -- Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.
“The UAE is well-versed in delivering successful events – sporting and lifestyle – and we remain in very close contact with the BCCI, IPL committees, the UAE Government and Ministries, our Health Authority, as well as many other entities, who are all experts in their respective fields and it is our collective intent that the tournament be played in a safe, enjoyable environment. We extend our sincere thanks to everyone who has worked tirelessly to bring the ‘IPL 2020’ to the UAE,” concluded Sheikh Nahyan.
Earlier, Waleed Bukhatir, Vice Chairman of the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, also expressed his delight over hosting the 13th edition of the IPL.
“Hosting one of the world class sporting event like Indian Premiere League (IPL) in our historic Sharjah Cricket Stadium is a great privilege for us and we can not wait to be on board with the most exciting franchise teams in the world,” said Waleed.
“For Sharjah Cricket Stadium we have always been ready for such events as we have state of the art facilities and we are all glad to welcome this exhilarating tournament to Sharjah.
Sharjah Cricket Stadium has the tag for producing electrifying atmosphere among fans and spectator, though as much as we like to see the houseful days of 2014.
“As per the directives and guidance of UAE Government which is safety of the public should come first for any events, the same will be followed by protocols laid by the Government and officials,” he added.
Sharjah Cricket Stadium holds the world record for hosting the most numbers of One day international in the history of the game.
The iconic stadium has hosted 236 ODIs. It has witnessed some of the most exciting and exhilarating finishes in the game, which also includes the final of the Austral-Asia Cup in 1986 when Pakistan’s batsman Javed Miandad hit a six off India’s Chetan Sharma on the final ball of the match to help the Green Brigade beat Kapil Dev-led Team India by one wicket.
Among the other most memorable matches played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium are the semi-final and final of the Coca Cola Cup, wherein Indian maestro Sachin Tendulkar single –handedly took India to the final and then led them to title with two consecutive centuries, which remains the highlight of the legend’s decorated career.
Amin Farooq, General Secretary of Dubai Cricket Council, expressed his pleasure over the news of IPL getting final nod from Indian government.
“It is a great pleasure to be the host of IPL. It is going to be am amazing experience. It is such a huge event you get to learn a lot by watching it on TV even. And getting a chance to
watch it live in the stadium is surely going to be a learning experience,” said Farooq.
“Staging the IPL at the time, when the world is reeling with pandemic will further underline the UAE’s position as a safe haven for hosting the world class sporting events,” he added.
Shiva G Pagarani, convener media, finance, administration and member of the executive committee at Dubai Cricket Council also expressed his delight.
“It is going to be a thrilling experience and we are looking forward to it impatiently. We are so excited. It is the biggest tournament of franchise cricket,” said Pagarani.
The IPL will take place between Sept. 19 to Nov. 8. This is confirmed and the rest we will decide in the (IPL) governing council meeting next week.
The IPL, the world's richest cricket tournament, was half finished when it was halted on May 4 after a number of players and team officials caught coronavirus despite being in bio-secure bubbles.
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