DUBAI: The upcoming men’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will witness significant spectator presence, with all stadia set to allow people in at 70% capacity throughout the tournament, the ICC confirmed.
Tropical Cyclone Shaheen struck coastal areas of Oman, including the capital of Muscat on Sunday, two weeks before preliminary round matches of the tournament commence on October 17.
According to a statement issued by International Cricket Council (ICC), some 3,000 fans would be accommodated at Al Amerat stadium in Muscat, though the cyclone left streets in the Omani capital under water, prompted evacuations from coastal areas and delayed flights in and out of the country.
The ICC said Indian cricket board (BCCI) and itself had worked closely with host authorities to ensure fans are welcomed in a safe environment and Covid-19 protocols are applied at all venues.
“The T20 World Cup is the largest sporting event to be held in the region and it will be the biggest global cricket event since the pandemic with fans in stadia,” the ICC said.
“In the UAE, all venues will be operating at approximately 70pc of maximum seated capacity, whilst Abu Dhabi has also introduced new socially distanced ‘pods’ of a maximum of four spectators on their east and west grass mounds,” it said.
The 16-team tournament was shifted to the Gulf states as a result of a surge of COVID-19 infections in India, however, the Indian cricket board (BCCI) remains the event host.
Dubai, which hosts matches including the November 14 final, and Sharjah are the two other venues in the UAE. The UAE is currently hosting the Indian Premier League (IPL) with fans at a reduced capacity.