Dubai: The UAE are now on all systems go as official hosts of the IPL 2020 as the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has received the official clearance from the Borad of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Easily the most glamorous T20 franchise cricket league in the world, the 13th edition of the event will be played here during a 53-day window from September 19 to November 10.
A total of 60 matches will be held across the three international venues of the country: the Dubai International Stadium which boasts of a record of hosting the highest number of T20 Internationals, Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi and the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Sharjah, the oldest of the three venues which pioneered hosting bigtime cricket in the desert, has it’s pride of place in the Guiness Book of World Records for hosting the highest number of One-day Internationals.
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Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence & Chairman of the ECB, said in a statement: “We feel extremely privileged to host what could be considered the pinnacle event of our favourite sport. The magnitude of being in a position to bring the IPL to the vast cricket-loving global community, during current events which have greatly impacted our daily lives, is one we take with extreme importance.
“This is undoubtedly the highest-profile cricketing event to be held in the UAE and our team will continue to support all facets (of the tournament) and work toward delivering a successful event for the enjoyment of all sports-fans here in the UAE, in India and across the world.”
Nahyan, who played an instrumental role during staging of the first leg of IPL here in 2014, said: “The UAE is well-versed in delivering successful events – sporting and lifestyle – and we remain in very close contact with the BCCI, IPL committees, the UAE Government and Ministries, our Health Authority, as well as many other entities, who are all experts in their respective fields and it is our collective intent that the tournament be played in a safe, enjoyable environment. We extend our sincere thanks to everyone who has worked tirelessly to bring the IPL 2020 to the UAE.”
For Sharjah Cricket Stadium, we have been always ready for such events as we have state-of-the-art facilities and we are all glad to welcome this exhilarating tournament to Sharjah
Though the UAE is no stranger in hosting world class sporting events and enjoys the stature of a major sporting hub in the region for long, the formal announcement of the event coming to the UAE evoked ecstatic reaction from the cricket community here. ‘‘It’s a great piece of news during these trying times. The UAE has the reputation of hosting world class sporting events and will surely do it once more,’’ said Amin Farooq, General Secretary of Dubai Cricket Council.
‘‘Hosting one of the world class sporting event like IPL in our historic Sharjah Cricket Stadium is a great privilege for us and we cannot wait to be on board with the most exciting franchise teams in the world. For Sharjah Cricket Stadium, we have been always ready for such events as we have state-of-the-art facilities and we are all glad to welcome this exhilarating tournament to Sharjah,’’ said Waleed Bukhatir, Vice Chairman of the Stadium.