Cricket fans hold Pakistani and Indian flags. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Cricket fans across the world will get a chance to watch the famed rivalry between India and Pakistan live as tickets for the Men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2021 go on sale today.

Geoff Allardice, International Cricket Council (ICC) Acting CEO said: “We are delighted to be welcoming fans back to international cricket in both Oman and the UAE to enjoy the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Our thanks to our hosts BCCI, Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) and Oman Cricket as well as the local governments in these regions for their support in ensuring fans could attend in a safe environment.”

In the UAE all venues will be operating at approximately 70 per cent of maximum seated capacity, while Abu Dhabi has also introduced new socially distanced ‘pods’ of a maximum of four spectators on their east and west grass mounds. The Oman Cricket Academy has had a temporary infrastructure built to welcome 3,000 fans.

Safe environment

The ICC and event hosts Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have worked closely with host authorities to ensure fans can be welcomed in a safe environment and Covid-19 protocols will apply at all venues.

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will begin in Muscat on October 17 and the final will take place in the UAE on November 14. The starting prices for tickets are 10 Omani Riyal in Oman and Dh30 in UAE. Tickets are available to purchase on www.t20worldcup.com/tickets, according to the ICC statement.

“The biggest sporting spectacle to have ever taken place in the region deserved to be played out in front of passionate cricket fans from all 16 nations competing and we are doing everything possible to keep it safe for all. It has been five years since the last Men’s T20 World Cup and we can’t wait for the world’s best players to arrive in Oman and the UAE and showcase the very best of T20 cricket,” Allardice added.

The schedule offers a host of key rivalry fixtures and mouth-watering match ups. The tournament kicks off with the Round 1 match between Oman and Papua New Guinea in Muscat. While, Australia and South Africa play the first match of Super 12s on October 23 in Abu Dhabi followed by the replay of the 2016 final between England and West Indies also on the same day in Dubai. One of cricket’s biggest rivalries, India and Pakistan, will take place on October 24 in Dubai.

Fans return

Jay Shah, BCCI secretary, said: “I am delighted that the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will be played in front of cheering fans both in the UAE and Oman. My sincere thanks to the government of the UAE and Oman for paving the way for fans to return. The anticipation for the World Cup, which is taking place after five years, is building with each passing day. I am sure we will have fans coming from different parts of the world to support their team. The vibe they will create will boost the performances on the field.”

Full member nations Bangladesh, Ireland and 2014 winners Sri Lanka will be battling in round one along with Namibia, Netherlands, Oman, Papua New Guinea, and Scotland to qualify for the Super 12 stage. The four qualifiers will then join Afghanistan, Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, and West Indies in the Super 12 stage.