With IPL and T20 UAE’s influence grows in sport – News


An impressive campaign against the coronavirus pandemic has elevated the country to cult status as a sports destination.

By personal writer

Published: Mon 18 Oct 2021, 10:20 PM

Cricket and sport in general in the United Arab Emirates have come a long way from a stellar start in the deserts of Sharjah in the 80s to the ongoing T20 World Cup. The game has evolved (miniature) since then, and fans (and the game) are richer from the experience.

Indeed, cricket has become shorter, but its influence has only grown in the UAE. The game is more powerful and dynamic with the advent of the latest format which attracts more people to the stadiums even during the pandemic.

Tickets for matches have been sold out, including for the showpiece match between India and Pakistan on October 24. Such a development was unthinkable even last year. But the impressive campaign against the coronavirus pandemic has elevated the country to cult status as a sports destination.

And here it would not be wrong to call the UAE the most sporting nation in the world. In 2020, as the pandemic raged, the UAE took the risk of hosting the Indian Premier League and the F1 race in Abu Dhabi without fans.

When the IPL was suspended earlier this year in India, the United Arab Emirates were the natural choice to complete the event, and they did so appropriately with Chennai Super Kings winning the trophy. For many countries, the UAE has become the home ground for sporting action. Why? Because the sport here is unmixed and not a victim of politics, conflicts, personalities and their tantrums.

The UAE offers sport in its true spirit; there is entertainment and passion. What more could the average fan ask for? Over the years, the country has built state-of-the-art stadiums and offers the best facilities for spectators and stars.

Traveling to the UAE is easy as it connects East and West like no other nation in the world. The aviation sector is booming, as is commerce, and there is business to be had on the go. The hospitality industry is world class; it’s a celebrity haunt while offering something for the budget-conscious traveler and resident.

The country has remained an attractive destination and a hive of activity even during the pandemic. Now that the worst is over, the sport is back with renewed vigor in the country. There are scores to be settled – on the cricket ground as the action spreads to Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The success of IPL cricket in a bubble last year has given the country the confidence to put on this spectacle with packed stadium crowds. Nothing like a game of cricket hit coronavirus for a six.


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