Dubai: The Dubai International Stadium received a thumbs-up from the top brass of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), including president Sourav Ganguly, who visited the stadium as part of their inspection routine on Tuesday. The Dubai venue, which holds the record of hosting the highest number of T20 Internationals so far, will be staging 24 league matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.
A day after doing a recce of the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, former Indian skipper Ganguly took a tour of the Dubai stadium alongwith Arun Dhumal, treasurer of BCCI, interim CEO Hemang Amin and other senior officials. It’s not known if they will be visiting the Shaikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi ahead of the first of the opening tie between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings on Saturday.
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‘‘Ganguly, along with the other officials, are satisfied with the state of readiness of the stadia for the matches. The matches will be held without spectators for now while media, apart from the TV crew of the official broadcasters, are also not allowed for now,’’ sources confirmed.
Meanwhile, Rajeev Shukla, an erstwhile chairman of IPL, reserved high words of praise for the way the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) lived up to the challenge of hosting the entire league under challenging circumstances. ‘‘BCCI had waited till the last minute before moving the league overseas as the coronavirus situation spiralled out of control. They deserve kudos for taking up the challenge,’’ said Shukla.
Speaking to Gulf News, Shukla, a former senior vice president of the board said: ‘‘The UAE has proved to be a very viable alternative because of the proximity to India, a time difference of only one and-a-half hours, the world class venues and the hotels. I must also add that both India and UAE governments have complemented each other to bring it upto this level.’’
Meanwhile, Preity Zinta, co-owner of Kings XI team who is currently in Dubai to attend the IPL, got a third Covid test done after arrival in the country, and the outcome was negative again.
Zinta shared a video of her getting her test done. In the clip, she is seen sitting on a sofa, while a doctor dressed in a PPE suit takes her nasal swab.
“3rd Covid test was done and the result was Negative. I’m so happy and relieved and grateful to this wonderful lady for being gentle while testing cuz it’s quite an experience getting a covid test,” she wrote alongside the clip.
She added: “Now two more tests to go and 2 more days in quarantine. I’ve been so jet lagged that I got my quarantine days wron. It’s #Day5 of Quarantine today. #Quarantinelife #Pzipldiaries #Ipl2020#Ting.”