For the first time since 2019, fans will be allowed inside the stadium in IPL once the season resumes in the UAE later this week. The T20 league is set to resume on September 19 when defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on Chennai Super Kings at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
In a media release on Wednesday, the BCCI revealed that the crowd will return to IPL matches after a gap of over two years due to the coronavirus pandemic meant the teams played inside closed doors in front of empty stands.
“This match will be a momentous occasion as IPL will welcome the fans back to the stadiums after a brief hiatus owing to Covid-19 situation," the statement read.
However, only limited seats will be available for the fans owing to the covid-19 protocols. “… limited seating available keeping in mind the Covid protocols and UAE government regulations," the statement added.
The tickets will be available to be purchased starting September 16 for the remainder of the tournament on IPL’s official website and elsewhere.
IPL 2021 came to a halt midway through the season earlier this year in the first week of May when coronavirus cases began sprouting in the various team bio-bubbles. The remainder of the season, like last year, will be played across three venues - Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
IPL 2020 was postponed before the entire season was shifted to in UAE due to the then coronavirus situation in India. However, even there, no fans were allowed inside the venues.
The league returned to India for its 14th season but the matches continued to be held in empty stadiums. In the first week of May, after several cricketers and members of support staff belonging to the various franchises began testing positive for covid-19, the BCCI indefinitely suspended the season before it was announced the remaining matches will be held in UAE.