Brendon McCullum of the Chennai Super Kings plays a shot against Kings XI Punjab during their IPL match at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. File
Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
After a long hiatus, finally the cricket lovers have something to cheer about with the biggest cricket extravaganza – Indian Premier League (IPL) – set to take place in the UAE.
In Twenty20 cricket, bowlers are often reduced to mere cannon fodder and batsmen, contemporary cricket’s pampered prima donnas, pander to a seemingly insatiable boundary-lust of the fans.
But this might not be the case in the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League . This is the second time the UAE is set to host the IPL. If the previous edition is anything to go by, when IPL was shifted to the UAE in 2014, this season does not promise to be a run feast either.
A total of 70 matches are likely to be played across three venues – Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi from Sept.19 to Nov.10. There will be 60 regular IPL matches plus a few practice games.
At the 2019 World Cup, 48 matches were played across 11 venues in the United Kingdom. In the 2016 T20 World Cup, India used seven stadiums for 35 matches that comes down to five games per ground on an average.
Contrary to it, even if ICC Academy and other grounds are used for the practice games, playing 60 matches across three venues comes down to 20 games in each stadium. Hosting so many matches within a span of just 53 days is likely to have its bearing on the turf.
Sharjah had hosted six, Abu Dhabi and Dubai seven matches each respectively in 2014. There were only two instances in the UAE leg of 2014 edition of the IPL, when a score of two hundred plus was breached, that too both in the same match.
Chennai Super Kings posted a total of 205 which was chased down by the Kings XI Punjab, making it the highest scoring game of the tournament. The match was played at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
In the last edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) played in the UAE in 2018-19, there were no 200-plus totals whereas the 12th season of the IPL saw the milestone of 200 being breached for a whopping 11 times.
Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore were the wreckers-in-chief, scoring four and three times a total of 200 plus respectively.
In the UAE leg of the 2014 IPL, there were only three occasions when a score of 190 plus was reached. Only other two instances witnessed a total in surplus of 180 in 40 innings. So that can be an alarming proposition for the teams who are banking heavily on their batting prowess.
Kings XI Punjab, who remained unbeaten throughout the UAE leg in 2014, were involved in all the high scoring games, owing to the brilliant form of Glenn Maxwell.
It was again Kings of Punjab, who chased down the Rajasthan’s 191 for the loss of five wickets as the match produced a scintillating aggregate total of 384 runs in two innings – the second highest score in a game.
A total of 44 domestic Twenty20 matches had been played at the Sharjah Stadium till 2018, which included PSL and Afghanistan Premier League (APL) games also.
The average first innings total at the Sharjah Stadium in the domestic Twenty20 matches are 153, with the highest being the 200/3 by Lahore Qalandars and lowest that of Islamabad United’s 80/10. Dubai holds the record for hosting the most number of the Twenty20 Internationals. Dubai has hosted 62 T20Is, in which the average score for the first innings is 145, Sri Lanka topping the chart with 211/3 while Kenya completed the downslide with a score of 71/10.
In the 67 domestic T20 matches, the average score is 149 with Lahore Qalandars scoring the highest and lowest total of 201 and 59.
At the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the average first innings total in 11 domestic T20 matches is 147.Chennai Super Kings’ score of 205/4 remains the highest while RCB hold the record for the lowest of 70/10 in the first innings.
The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed on Monday that they have received the official Letter of Intent from the BCCI to host the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Officially it was postponed until Wednesday but with India and much of the world in lockdown, preventing players from travelling and fans attending matches, the tournament remains on hold.
New Zealand spinner Mitchell Santner has hailed the IPL as the best T20 tournament in the world, saying his stint with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has helped him get better at his craft.
The Three Lions initially looked sluggish against Senegal’s pacy forwards, in the two nations’ first-ever encounter, with a wonderful one-handed save by Jordan Pickford stopping Boulaye Dia from giving the African side a shock lead.
Chasing the target, New York Strikers could muster only 91 for 5 in 10 overs against the tight and disciplined bowling led by Josh Little (2 for 4) and Mohammad Hasnain (2 for 14).
This 2.45-million figure equals an average of 96 per cent occupancy and is higher than the corresponding 2.17-million figure for the 2018 edition.