What attracts you the most in the UAE?, is it the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the museums in Sharjah or the lucrative amusement parks that Abu Dhabi has to offer?, it’s tough isn’t it?. Well come this September and finding an answer would be easier for you. Because the three cultural hotspots of UAE is playing home to a series of big sporting events that surely will turn the heads of all the sports enthusiasts and fans to the country’s cricket stadiums other than it’s tourist attractions.
Yes the wait is finally about to be over as the biggest sporting events of this year’s cricketing calendar is all set to make its mark in the land of Sheikhs. UAE is set to host a series of mega sporting events starting with the 2nd phase of the Indian Premiere League, followed by the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup which was initially set to be hosted by India but had to be shifted because of the covid situation in the country.
The similarity between both the tournaments is that both of them were primarily staged in India and had to be shifted due to the ruckus created by the pandemic situation in the country. The IPL was suspended midway through the tournament with 31 games left to play when news broke out about a few players and staffs of certain teams and organizing committee were tested positive for Covid-19,due to which the BCCI had to take the harsh step of suspending the tournament temporarily to stop the further spread of the virus among other players and staff which came as a huge setback for cricket fans all around the globe especially the fans in India because IPL was turning out to be a source of happiness during the tough times that the people had to experience amidst the deadly 2nd wave of the pandemic. Hence the last match was played on the 2nd of May 2021 in which the Delhi capitals defeated the Punjab Kings by 7 wickets completing a total of 29 matches in the league stage of the tournament before it was called off. Although the situations were gloomy and dull because of the tournament which otherwise is known as the festival of cricket being cancelled, the BCCI did assure they will make sure that the IPL gets completed within this year and that they will find a suitable window in the cricket calendar to conduct the remaining half of the tournament.
As assured the BCCI came up with an alternative by shifting the tournament to UAE where the previous edition of the IPL was also played and decided to complete the tournament just in time before the beginning of a bigger event which is the T20 world cup. The BCCI slated the tournament’s 2nd half to begin from 19th of September with the finals to be played on 15th of October 2021 ensuring that the tournament finishes just in time to give the international and national players a small window to prepare themselves for representing their respective national sides in the T20 world cup set to begin on 23rd of the same month.
The IPL always comes as a blockbuster package where the biggest stars and legends of the game come together for probably the biggest cricketing extravaganza in this world and the first phase of the 2021 edition was no exception as the teams came out all guns blazing and set out a show for the fans to enjoy which actually plays the role as the best advertisement for the upcoming 2nd phase. The fact that the T20 world cup commences just after the conclusion of the 2021 edition of the IPL makes the second phase more important and spicier as the players will be raring to go out on the field and make their presence known keeping an eye at spots inside their respective national sides for the T20 World cup. Where the stars of the show will be just trying to maintain their form and be in great touch before wearing the sleeves of nation’s pride on them, there should be no doubts as the promising young lads will do all in their power and capabilities to put out a show in front of the fans and more importantly the national team selectors hoping to turn some heads their way and making a miraculous entry into world cup squads of their respective countries. The selectors will also be keeping a close eye on such miraculous emergence of some players keeping in mind that the world cup will be played in the same venues where the IPL matches will be played.
The fact that the tournament is resuming after a gap of 3-4 months makes it more interesting to see how the teams will line up adjusting to the conditions in UAE when the teams where initially formed considering that the tournament will be played in India and also after many national associations coming forward and expressing their reluctance to send their players for the IPL citing the time gap between the day of the IPL finals and the commencement date of the world cup wouldn’t be enough for the preparing their players for the world cup as the main reason which also resulted in the ECB withdrawing its players from the mega event forcing the franchises with English players to find replacements for them in such a short notice and keep their hopes to get hands on the coveted trophy alive.
None the less the second phase of 14th edition of the Indian Premiere League promises to be mouthwatering tournament with guaranteed blockbuster entertainment which fans around the world is looking forward to and no doubt will setup the stage as a trailer for the biggest cricketing event this year the T20 world cup, both the events are sure to set the fields on fire ending up raising the heat levels of an already hot UAE, and all we got to do as fans is sit down and cheer for our favorites when they take on their counterparts on the cricket fields to make our Arabia nights the most beautiful one until now and to witness the emergence of new heroic moments from the land which possesses the largest treasure of fairy tales.
- Aswin K S