The Star (Jamaica)
UAE stadiums to operate at 70 per cent for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup
All venues for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will operate at about 70 per cent of maximum seated capacity, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced yesterday.
In addition, the ICC said, Abu Dhabi has 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.
The announcement came as the ICC opened ticket sales for cricket fans from across the world, to attend the October 17 to November 14 showpiece in which West Indies will be defending their title.
Cricket’s governing body said in its statement that it and event hosts, the Board of Control for Cricket in
( BCCI), had worked closely with host authorities “to ensure fans can be welcomed in a safe environment and COVID-19 protocols will apply at all venues”.
“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 and Oman Cricket, as well as the local governments in these regions for their support in ensuring fans could attend in a safe environment,” added ICC Acting CEO Geoff Allardice.
The BCCI’s honorary secretary, Jay Shah, said he was delighted that the World Cup would be played in front of cheering fans, and thanked the UAE and Oman for paving the way for fans to return.
The biggest global cricket event since the pandemic with fans in stadiums will feature the world’s 16 top T20 teams vying for the ultimate prize in the game’s shortest format.
The schedule of 45 matches offers a host of key rivalry fixtures and matchups. The tournament kicks off with the Round One match between Oman and Papua New Guinea in Oman’s capital, Muscat. Australia and South Africa play the first match of Super 12s on October 23 in Abu Dhabi.
The West Indies, the only side to win the tournament twice, will also feature on the opening day of the Super 12s as they kick off their defence of the title in Dubai against England.
Former champions India and Pakistan face off on October 24 in Dubai.
Those unable to travel to the UAE and Oman for the highly anticipated tournament will be able to watch matches live on television and by engaging across all of ICC’s digital and social media channels. An announcement regarding the tournament’s global broadcast coverage will follow soon, the ICC said.