Emirates Cricket Board secretary Mubashshir Usmani has said on Friday, during media interaction, that if the government approves, they would like to fill the stadiums with an audience of 30 to 50 per cent in the Indian Premier League to be hosted in the United Arab Emirates. Announcing the dates of the Indian Premier League (IPL),  chairman Brajesh Patel also told PTI that the decision, to allow spectators to take the stands during the IPL in UAE, will be taken by the government. 

Also Read: UAE opens Tour & Visit Visas for IPL fans

 The Cricket Board of India (BCCI) is awaiting the approval of the Government of India for the IPL in the UAE. Ummani said over the phone, ‘Once we get confirmation from the BCCI (about the approval of the Government of India), we will go to our government with the complete proposal and standard operating procedure (SOP) which will be prepared by us and the BCCI. We definitely would like our people to experience this prestigious tournament but it will be entirely the decision of the government. In most tournaments here, the number of spectators varies from 30 to 50 percent, we are expecting this number. “We are expecting our government’s approval on this,” 

Rugby tournament cancelled, but IPL will be not 

Usmani said, “We expect our government’s approval on this.” There are more than 6000 active cases of COVID-19 in the UAE and the epidemic is almost under control. Although the 2020 Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament, to be held in November, has been cancelled for the first time since 1970 due to the threat of coronavirus, he said about concerns over IPL security, ‘UAE government reduces the number of infected. We are leading a normal life by following certain rules and protocols. ‘ Usmani said, “And while there is still some time in the IPL, we will definitely be in a better position.” 

Also Read: BCCI’s preparations for hosting IPL in UAE in full swing

Discussion on mental health awareness helpline 

The BCCI is discussing a mental health awareness helpline for sportsmen and associate members due to the COVID-19 epidemic, which will address the challenges associated with staying in a bio-safe environment for several weeks. The board can make it part of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the 13th session starting in the UAE (UAE) from 19 September, if the helpline number is introduced. Such helplines can help them (players, associate members) cope with stress and anxiety better if needed. The BCCI is set to issue a comprehensive SOP for all eight franchises after the IPL Governing Council Committee meeting on Sunday, where the final schedule will be stamped. This question has been raised by some franchisees about the pressure to stay away from families for long. 

The situation is not yet clear regarding the investigation of coronavirus. It is expected that most of the teams Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai will get their players tested from where they will fly to the UAE. A franchise said that it plans to send medical personnel to their homes to check on the players. There is no clarity about media coverage yet. The players will travel by chartered flight, but there are no plans for the media at the moment.