VVS Laxman, the batting mentor of SunRisers Hyderabad has said that quality of cricket would not be affected in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) just because of empty stands.The IPL 2020 is slated to be played in the UAE from September 19-November 10 and the initial matches will go ahead behind closed doors. “I can assure all the fans of the game that they will really enjoy the competition even though there won’t be any crowd or any spectators on the ground. Don’t ever think that the energy or the quality of cricket will come down,” Laxman said in a video posted by SunRisers Hyderabad on their official Twitter handle.
When ANI had contacted Emirates Cricket Board regarding having crowds in IPL 2020, their Secretary-General Mubashir Usmani had said: “As hosts, Emirates Cricket Board will work closely with the authorities to seek approval on what protocols need to be followed, this includes fan attendance, we will then discuss with the BCCI to assess their spectator requirements.”
“We want our Asian diaspora, as well as the other expat and Emirati sports-loving fans (in the UAE) to be able to watch the action from the stands,” he added.
Laxman also said that he is expecting the pitches in the UAE to be on the slower side.
“Probably the wickets may be on the slower side but we have to just wait and see because we may just be surprised with the efforts put in by the ground staff,” Laxman said.
“The outfield will be fantastic but the wickets are something that I hope will be well taken care of by the ground staff,” he added.
All eight IPL franchises have reached UAE for taking part in the upcoming tournament.
As per the Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs), the BCCI has already told the franchises that the players have to undergo a mandatory seven-day quarantine period after arriving in the UAE.
As per SOPs issued by the BCCI, the players have to undergo RT-PCR tests on Day 1, 3, and 6 of the quarantine phase and then they will be entering the bio-bubble provided they test negative on all three occasions.
The 13th edition of the IPL will be played for 53 days, from September 19 to November 10, across three venues — Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai.The final match is scheduled to be played on a weekday, i.e. Tuesday, for the first time in the history of the T20 tournament.This time, both the afternoon and evening matches will be played half-an-hour earlier than usual.