Abu Dhabi Cricket (ADC) have been selected as the host of the opening match of the 2020 Dream 11 Indian Premier League (IPL) between reigning champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
With the full IPL 2020 schedule released this week, Abu Dhabi Cricket has cemented its position as a world-renowned multi-sport venue after being confirmed host for a total of 20 of the 60 IPL fixtures.
His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and Chairman of the Emirates Cricket Board and Abu Dhabi Cricket, commented: “India and the UAE share historic ties and long-lasting friendship between the two governments and we are honoured and privileged to host the world’s best franchise cricket league, particularly under the prevailing global pandemic situation.
“We are aware the status and popularity of this event and will work toward delivering a successful tournament for the enjoyment of all sports fans, here in the UAE, in India and across the world.
“We are also pleased to provide the players, officials and everyone involved in the tournament the highest standard of the Covid-19 safety and precautionary measures.”
HE Sheikh Nahyan also commented that the UAE is renowned for hosting world-class sporting events and to stage the entire Indian Premier League, for the first time ever in a country outside of India, was another milestone.
“As a country we are well-versed in delivering successful sporting events. We are in very close contact with the BCCI, IPL committees, the UAE Government and Ministries, our Health Authority, as well as many other entities, who are all experts in their respective fields, to ensure the tournament is an immense success.
“It is our collective intent that the tournament be played in a safe and enjoyable environment. We extend our sincere thanks to everyone who has worked tirelessly to bring the IPL 2020 to the UAE.”
HE Sheikh Nahyan emphasised staging the IPL at the present time also represents a new message from the UAE to the world on the capabilities of organising sporting events with the highest safety protocols.
“To host the tournament under the pandemic situation is evidence of the leading position the UAE enjoys worldwide in hosting and organising such high calibre tournaments,” he said.
The eight teams to compete in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League are: Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders.
With immense strength and depth in both the Mumbai and Chennai teams, the stage is well and truly set for an electric opening match at Zayed Cricket Stadium. The reigning champions feature a star-studded line-up including Indian heroes captain Rohit Sharma, the Pandya brothers (Hardik & Krunal) and Jasprit Bumrah as well as international legends Kieron Pollard (West Indies), Trent Boult (New Zealand) and Quinton de Kock (South Africa). The Chennai Super Kings team features icon MS Dhoni, fellow Indian stalwarts Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh as well international superstars Shane Watson (Australia), Fab du Plessis (South Africa) and Dwayne Bravo (West Indies).
Mumbai Indians will return to Zayed Cricket Stadium just four days later, on 23 September, to face the Kolkata Knight Riders – both teams have selected Abu Dhabi as their IPL 2020 ‘home’ training venue in the lead-up to the season.
Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders began training at Abu Dhabi Cricket on 28 August, after the opening of the ADC ‘Airbridge’ Practice Facility, and following the announcement that the IPL would be relocating to the UAE for the 2020 season as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic. The hosting of the Indians and Knight Riders is part of a partnership struck between Abu Dhabi Cricket with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council. A key factor in attracting the teams to choose ADC as their ‘home’ venue is the world-renowned venue’s safety-first and UAE government-led Covid-19 response strategy, which is run in accordance with the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) planned practice schedule for each participating franchise.
Mumbai Indians & Kolkata Knight Riders will continue to practice at Abu Dhabi Cricket in the lead up to and throughout the 2020 Dream 11 Indian Premier League and will follow schedules and procedures determined by the BCCI.