Fans show support on opening day of IPL 2020 in UAE
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rohit Sharma, captains of Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians respectively, at the toss for the opening game on September 19. Image Credit: Vipin Pawar/Sportzpics for BCCI

Dubai: Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council (DSC), has congratulated the stakeholders for the great start and organisational success of the 13th Indian Premier League (IPL) being held in the UAE.

Organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in cooperation with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) and other government entities, the star-studded Twenty20 league kicked-off on September 19, with no fans but lots of sizzling action and sensational finishes, especially in Dubai where two of the five matches until now have finished in the Super Over.


“The UAE has always welcomed the world with open arms and, thanks to our visionary leadership, we have available all the ingredients needed for the success of any event taking place on our soil, whether it is a sports event, economic or any other,” Sheikh Mansoor remarked.

“The hospitality of the people of UAE is renowned across the world, and we are always keen support and cooperate with everyone who seeks our assistance. The decision of our friends from India to host one the world’s premier sporting events here is a confirmation of UAE’s distinctive position on the global sports map and our ability to organise major tournaments in different sports because of our top-notch sports, hospitality and tourism infrastructure,” he added.

The IPL is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world, with top players from around the globe taking part. Launched in 2008, the franchise-based Twenty20 cricket competition has grown in stature since, and in 2014, was ranked sixth among all sports leagues in the world in terms of average attendance.

The brand value of the 2019 IPL was estimated to be $6.7 billion (Dhs 24.59 billion), according to New York-based financial consultancy firm Duff & Phelps, with viewership in excess of 462 million.

“Choosing the UAE to host this major tournament at this particular time has great significance and is indicative of the world’s trust and confidence in UAE’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Players and officials from around the world are here for the IPL, and they are here because they feel safe and secure in the UAE,” Sheikh Mansoor said.

“Their confidence and trust is a badge of honour for us, and a tribute to the wisdom of our leadership as well as the great work done by our COVID-19 heroes in the first line of defence, and, of course, the cooperation of the members of the community. Together, we have successfully checked the advance of the pandemic and reopened every sphere of life, and the IPL is clear proof of that,” he added.

The ongoing tournament will see a total of 60 matches being played in the UAE across 56 days, with the final taking place on November 10 at the Dubai International Stadium in Dubai Sports City. Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium and the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium are the other two hosts of the tournament.

“Our confidence in the precautionary measures put in place by the federal authorities and other government entities in the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, and the mechanisms for their implementation, made us agree to host the IPL without any hesitation, despite the challenges involved in hosting a tournament of this magnitude and prestige, with hundreds of players and officials involved, and millions of fans glued to the proceedings,” he noted.