The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has “no problem” if the crowd is allowed in the second phase of the Indian Premier League 2021, scheduled to begin from September 19 in the United Arab Emirates.

Earlier, the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) general secretary Mubashir Usmani was quoted as saying that the board will speak to the Indian cricket board (BCCI) and the UAE government regarding allowing crowds back into the stands. To this, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal said that the BCCI would “love to have crowd” but not at the cost of players and peoples’ safety.

“We are working on that and we are hoping that the UAE government will allow the crowd this time since everyone is vaccinated there. Let’s see what happens. Hopefully, fans will be allowed but not at the coast players’ or peoples’ safety — that is more important. Rest is on the UAE government to decide,” Dhumal told IANS.

Reports suggested that the UAE government has given the green light to allow 60 per cent capacity of the crowd in the stadium for the remaining matches.

Dhumal further said that IPL 2022 will have two new teams. “Everybody is looking up to the IPL now; we believe it will be an exciting tournament in UAE. This would be the last season of IPL with eight teams. Most likely there will be 10 teams next time. We are working on that too,” he added.

Asked about more details on the two new teams which would be added, the BCCI treasurer refused to comment further. Moving on, Dhumal showered praise on India’s stunning Test win over England at the Lord’s.

“It was a great win given our past record. We had a tough time in the first half but later the way Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah played so well with bat and with the ball.”

IANS

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