The upcoming men’s T20 World Cup, in October-November in the UAE (and Oman, for some of the first-round games), will witness significant spectator presence, with all stadia set to allow people in at 70 percent capacity throughout the tournament, the ICC announced on Sunday.
This will make the tournament the largest-scale event held in the UAE since the pandemic in terms of fan participation. The second half of the latest PSL, held in the UAE in June this year, was not open to spectators, while the ongoing IPL has fans at the venues in a “reduced capacity”. Letting fans in for the IPL matches, as ESPNcricinfo had reported earlier, was also meant to be a dress rehearsal of sorts for the local governments in the UAE, the ICC, and the BCCI for the World Cup.
“The ICC and event hosts BCCI have worked closely with host authorities to ensure fans can be welcomed in a safe environment and COVID-19 protocols will apply at all venues,” an ICC statement said.
Tickets have already gone on sale for games in both Oman and the UAE. The stadium in Abu Dhabi will also include socially distanced pods – four people in each – while a temporary structure at the Oman Cricket Academy will enable up to 3,000 fans to attend in person.
The T20 World Cup was originally scheduled to take place in India, but a surge in Covid-19 cases in the country earlier in the year resulted in a relocation to the UAE, where the remainder of the IPL is currently taking place.
The T20 World Cup begins on October 17 in Muscat, with Oman taking on Papua New Guinea in the first round, from which four teams will join the top-eight teams in the main competition, which will begin on October 23 when Australia take on South Africa in Abu Dhabi. Dubai is the venue for the final, which will take place on November 14. (www.espncricinfo.com)