IPL 2021: Spectators could return in remainder of season
The remainder of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) season, scheduled to begin from September 19 in the UAE, is likely to see the return of spectators. It is understood that the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) general secretary Mubashir Usmani will speak to the BCCI and the UAE Government regarding the same. The two boards will work closely to gain consent. Here is more.
"As hosts, ECB will work closely with the authorities to seek approval on what protocols need to be followed," Usmani told Gulf News. "This includes fan attendance, we will then discuss it with the BCCI as well as the ICC to assess their spectator requirements. We want our ex-pat and Emirati sports-loving fans to be able to watch the action from the stands."
As per several reports, the UAE government has given a go-ahead to allow spectators in 60 per cent capacity for the remaining IPL matches. In May, it was reported that only vaccinated people will be allowed to attend the matches (50 per cent capacity). Notably, the cash-rich league will be held at three venues in Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi respectively.
Spectators could return to the IPL for the first time in over two years. The 2020 edition, which was held in the UAE, barred spectators amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the first half of the IPL 2021 also took place behind closed doors in India.
The remainder of the IPL season will resume on September 19 in the UAE, while the final will take place on October 15. Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians will meet in the 30th match. The tournament was postponed indefinitely in May after several players tested COVID-19 positive. It was then shifted to the UAE, with the BCCI citing "bad weather" as the reason.
The Delhi Capitals occupy the top spot in the IPL 2021 standings, winning six out of the eight matches. Chennai are placed second with five wins from seven games. Bangalore are third with the same number of points as CSK but have an inferior NRR. Mumbai are placed fourth with eight points from seven games. Meanwhile, RR, PBKS, KKR, and SRH follow suit.