Cricket fans from across the world are heading to Oman and the UAE for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, with tickets for every one of the 45 matches now on sale.
The top 16 T20 teams in the world will be vying for the biggest prize in the sport’s shortest format, starting in Muscat on Oct. 17 and concluding in Dubai on Nov. 14.
In the UAE, all venues will be operating at approximately 70 percent of maximum capacity, while Abu Dhabi has introduced new socially distanced pods on their east and west grass mounds that each hold a maximum of four spectators. The Oman Cricket Academy has had a temporary structure built to accommodate 3,000 fans.
The ICC and event hosts the BCCI have worked closely with host authorities to ensure fans can be welcomed in a safe environment. COVID-19 protocols will apply at all venues.
“We are delighted to be welcoming fans back to international cricket in both Oman and the UAE to enjoy the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup,” ICC Acting CEO Geoff Allardice said. “Our thanks to our hosts BCCI, Emirates Cricket Board and Oman Cricket as well as the local governments in these regions for their support in ensuring fans could attend in a safe environment.”
He added: “The biggest sporting spectacle to have ever taken place in the region deserved to be played out in front of passionate cricket fans from all 16 nations competing and we are doing everything possible to keep it safe for all. It has been five years since the last Men’s T20 World Cup and we can’t wait for the world’s best players to arrive in Oman and the UAE and showcase the very best of T20 cricket.”
The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 is the largest sporting event to be held in the region and will be the biggest global cricket event to welcome fans into venues since the pandemic began.
The tournament kicks off with the first round match between Oman and Papua New Guinea in Muscat, while Australia and South Africa play the first match of the Super 12 stage on Oct. 23 in Abu Dhabi, followed by a replay of the 2016 final between England and West Indies later the same day in Dubai. The latest instalment of one of cricket’s biggest rivalries, India and Pakistan, will take place the following day in Dubai.
BCCI Honorary Secretary Jay Shah said: “I am delighted that the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will be played in front of cheering fans both in the UAE and Oman. My sincere thanks to the governments of the UAE and Oman for paving the way for fans to return. The anticipation for the World Cup, which is taking place after five years, is building with each passing day. I am sure we will have fans coming from different parts of the world to support their team. The vibe they will create will boost the performances on the field.
“The ticket sales have started, and I urge everyone to stay safe and follow the health advisories and savor the experience.”
Along with full member nations Bangladesh, Ireland and 2014 winners Sri Lanka, Namibia, the Netherlands, Oman, Papua New Guinea and Scotland will all be battling it out to qualify for the Super 12 stage.
There are four places available to join confirmed participants Afghanistan, Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, and West Indies in the Super 12 stage.