As Abu Dhabi witnessed a spike in cricket action opportunities in the Emirates for being a safe option for hosting tournaments amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Abu Dhabi Cricket (ADC) has decided to expand and open Tolerance Oval, a floodlit, broadcast-ready stadium, with five playing surfaces. The Tolerance Oval is yet to get the ICC accreditation.
The Sheikh Zayed Stadium 81 ICC-approved games, including Abu Dhabi T10 League and T20s in the last 11 months. It is the most number of games hosted by any other cricket stadium in the last one year time (since June 2020). Abu Dhabi is all set to host the second leg India Premier League (IPL) 2021 from September 19, which will be followed by the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup between October 17 and November 14.
“If you speak to the best groundsmen in the world, they wouldn’t want more than five international matches on each of their surfaces. Our main stadium is now broadcast-ready for seven strips, and the Tolerance Oval is broadcast-ready as well with five strips. So we have 12 broadcast-ready strips, that’s 60 games”ESPNCricinfo quoted Matt Boucher, ADC chief executive, as saying
Speaking on the features of the ground, Matt Boucher said-
“Tolerance Oval is another international venue in the Emirates. It’s not a 20-25,000 capacity ground. We have modelled it on the English county grounds and the Hagley Oval [in Christchurch]; we have grass banks around the perimeter, so 12,000 people at the most.”
Tolerance over mainly serves as a training facility for the UAE national team. Apart from this, it has hosted a wide range of cricket matches, and cricketers, mainly English counties on their pre-season travels, as well as ‘A’ matches featuring Pakistan, New Zealand, Australia, etc. With the stadium getting a revamp, although it does not guarantee for it to be a host for ICC events but makes it a candidate for the same. The now broadcast-ready ground, UAE’s fourth night-playing ground aside from stadiums of Dubai and Sharjah and the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
“Hopefully in six weeks’ time we will have the accreditation for that oval, and then it’s over to the decision-makers if they want to use it for any upcoming tournaments or whether we use it for practice”Matt Boucher, Chief executive of Abu Dhabi Cricket