ABU DHABI 20 September 2020: Millions of Indians woke up this morning to spectacular views and descriptions of sporting facilities and infrastructure in the UAE, which have made it possible for Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah to host cricket’s Indian Premier League, IPL, from September 19 to November 8.
The Indian Express came out with a four-column, tastefully-lit night view of the opening venue of the IPL, Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium, below its masthead, with a caption which described the sight as “panoramic.” The newspaper wrote that “the 53-day T20 tournament will see 60 matches played at three venues across the UAE.”
In an editorial, The Indian Express noted that the IPL will be telecast from the UAE to 100 countries providing exposure worldwide to state-of-the-art infrastructure in the emirates and for its tourism facilities. “In India alone 550 million are expected to tune in.”
The Tribune, in its editorial headlined “IPL in the Emirates,” noted that the Coronavirus pandemic had caused “the longest period of inactivity for Indian cricketers in living memory. The start of the IPL today, following a six-month delay due to Covid-19, would gladden the heart of the Indian cricket fan, who has lived through a veritable drought since March.”
The mass circulation newspaper in Kerala state, Malayala Manorama, noted the UAE’s previous experience in hosting partial IPL matches as its strength in staging the entire, nearly two-month-long tournament this time.
Six years ago, on account of India’s parliamentary elections during the IPL season, the Board of Control for Cricket in India split the games into two phases. The first phase was played at three stadia in the UAE, but the final was held in India after the voting was over.