NEW DELHI, July 31: The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is eager to fill up 30-50 per cent of the stadiums with spectators when the IPL is held in the UAE provided the government there approves, its secretary Mubashshir Usmani told PTI on Friday.
While announcing the dates of the IPL, its chairman Brijesh Patel had told PTI that the decision on letting in fans during the September 19-November 8 event will be taken by the UAE government.
Having announced the dates, the BCCI too is awaiting the final approval from the Indian government to host the IPL in the UAE.
“Once we get the confirmation from the BCCI (on Indian government’s approval), we will go to our government with the complete proposal and SOPs which will be prepared by us and the BCCI,” said Usmani over phone.
“We will definitely want our people to experience this prestigious event but it is totally the government’s decision. For most events here, the number ranges from thirty to 50 percent capacity, we are looking at a similar number.
“We are hopeful of getting our government’s approval on that,” he added.
The UAE has little over 6000 active cases of COVID-19 and the overall situation around the pandemic is under control.
However, the 2020 Dubai Rugby Sevens event, scheduled in November, has been cancelled for the first time since 1970 due to the coronavirus threat.
Usmani allayed concerns over the safety of the IPL.
“The UAE government has been very efficient in bringing down the case numbers. We are almost living a normal life with certain rules and protocols to be followed.
“And with the IPL still some time way, we will be in an even better place than what it is right now.”
The IPL Governing Council will meet on Sunday to finalise the logistics and SOP for the world’s biggest T20 league.
Usmani said the UAE is ready to host the event and is only awaiting the Indian government’s approval, “which should come through soon”, going by what Patel said at the time of announcing the tournament dates. – PTI