Amidst the speculation of currently-postponed Indian Premier League (IPL) being held in the UAE due to rising coronavirus cases, Dubai Sports City’s Head of Cricket and Events, Salman Hanif, has said they are prepping up for such an eventuality.
With aiming to secure September-October window, the IPL still stands uncertain, given the current scenario of the pandemic outburst. Also, the entire decision of the same depends on the T20 World Cup scheduled on October 18 to November 15, hosted by Australia.
Speaking to ‘Gulf News’, Hanif said the Dubai Sports City which includes the Dubai International Stadium and the ICC Academy, is ready and can be seen as a potential venue for the money-rich T20 league.
“The stadium has nine wickets on the top in case a large number of matches have to be accommodated within a smaller time-frame. We will not be scheduling any matches there to keep the wickets fresh,” said Hanif.
The UAE has recorded more than 50,000 Covid-19 cases and over 300 deaths that has thrown the world in disarray. On the other hand, India’s case count has crossed 10 lakh mark, including over 25,000 deaths.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has time and again highlighted on several occasions that he wants IPL to be hosted this year, even if it has to find an international route. The ICC is expected to take a call on the fate of T20 World Cup by next week.
If the IPL does get the September-October window, the eight franchises would have to get their players ready and have an easy land, in order to observe a quarantine period, if required. The Indian cricketers have been confined in their homes since March due to the national lockdown.
“The practice facilities are never going to be a problem as we have hosted multi-team events before. In the ICC complex alone, there are 38 wickets – spread over the two Oval grounds, the simulated turf wickets as well as the state-of-the-art indoor facilities in case they want to beat the heat,” Hanif added.
Read more such massively-hit content on Mad Over Cricket.