IPL 2020: Ravi Shastri opines hosting IPL 13 successfully can make UAE a cricketing hot spot

Shastri also mentioned that it is a big opportunity for UAE to showcase its world-class facilities.

The IPL 2020 in whole will be played in UAE from September 19The rising cases of Coronavirus pandemic in India forced the BCCI to look for alternate venues to host the IPL 2020, UAE emerged as the front-runner apart from Sri Lanka. UAE has three grounds within comfortable conveyance distances and has felt the minimal impact of the pandemic.

Therefore, BCCI moved the IPL 2020 to UAE, where the tournament will begin from September 19 and the matches will be played at three bio-secure venues- Sharjah, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi, with no crowds allowed.

Indian team’s head coach Ravi Shastri feels that this IPL is the chance for the Emirates cricket board to make UAE a cricket hot spot.

The IPL has two big positive aspects about it: firstly, the players get a chance to get back on the ground and then, it offers the UAE a chance to make a big statement if they can pull it off without a hitch,” Shastri told Gulf News.

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The 57-year-old former India all-rounder feels the UAE has a strong potential of not only hosting IPL matches but emerges as a major alternative neutral venue for international cricket.

I had said during the 2014 edition of IPL here that it’s just the right choice if the IPL had to ever move overseas – because of the excellent infrastructure and an overwhelming number of Indian expats here. As things stand out, there are not too many countries in the world now which can safely host international matches in view of the COVID-19 situation,” Shastri explained.

If all goes well, then UAE should be in the running to host any major ICC event as well as bilateral series in future,’’ Shastri added.

Shastri’s comments gave credence to reports that the ICC is looking at Sri Lanka and UAE as alternate venues for hosting the 2021 T20 World Cup, if the COVID-19 situation in India, the host country, don’t improve.

Talking about the COVID-19 pandemic bringing cricket to a halt for more than five months, Shastri said it was nothing in comparison by the suffering the world has gone through.

Ravi Shastri spent the COVID-19 lockdown in his Alibaug farmhouse | Twitter’Here we are talking about not playing cricket for five months, the sport had come to a halt for six years during World War II. Nobody saw it coming, it was a shock to the system which destroyed so many lives and livelihood…what can you do about it?,’’ said an animated Shastri.

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All the Indian players have been out of action for the last five months, while there is no home and away advantage as well. The good thing is they are starting with the T-20 format and not Test matches, which gets over in just over three hours,’’ said Shastri when asked about which IPL team holds the advantage.

He also felt that the IPL has come at a good time as it will give Virat Kohli and boys some much-needed game time in the middle before the important Australia tour which begins in December 2020. “The IPL could not have come at a better time as it would give some match time to Virat Kohli and the boys,’’ he added.

(Gulf news inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 11 Sep, 2020

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