IPL 2014

UAE to host 20 IPL games in first phase

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 19, 2014

Comments: 36 | Text size: A | A
'Franchises may be happier with IPL's India schedule'

The first phase of the IPL will have 20 matches in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai from April 16-30, the organisers have announced. The opening match of IPL 2014 will be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on April 16 between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders.

The first phase of the IPL was moved to the UAE after its schedule coincided with the Indian elections, slated to begin from April 17. However, it is likely that nearly two-thirds of the tournament could be played in India. A BCCI statement said that state administrations had responded to an initiative by the federal government and indicated their willingness to hold matches. This, the BCCI said, led it to believe that the IPL could be staged in India from the first week of May.

If the IPL returns to India in the first week of May, the fixtures will have to be tweaked according to the availability of the venues. The states where polling ends in April can host the games from May 1, whereas cities that go to vote on May 7 and 12 can stage matches from May 13 onwards. This may result in additional venues, including Kochi and Cuttack, being roped in. However, a BCCI insider was optimistic that the Indian leg could be played at traditional venues. "We will try and host matches in home cities where we get permissions to. I am hopeful," he said.


Yusuf Pathan was bowled for 13, Mumbai Indians v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL, Mumbai, May 7, 2013
Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders will play the first match of IPL 2014 © BCCI
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It is understood the tournament launch will take place on April 15 in Abu Dhabi. According to the schedule released by the IPL, five of the 15 days of the first phase will be double-headers that will be played over the weekends. The first match will start at 2.30pm local time (1030 GMT, 1600 IST) and the evening game at 6.30pm (1430 GMT, 2000 IST).

Of the eight franchises, Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad are scheduled to play three home games in the UAE. The other four teams will play two home games in the first leg. If the IPL returns to India in the first week of May, Super Kings, Royals, Royal Challengers and Sunrisers will play four games at home, while the other teams will host five home games.

The schedule for the first phase was chalked out to allow each of the eight franchises to play at least once in all three cities, and also feature in at least one of the double-header weekends. Abu Dhabi and Dubai will host seven matches each while six games will be played in Sharjah.

There were concerns about Sharjah as a venue, given its associations with match-fixing in the past, but assurances from the UAE government and cricket officials in the country were adequate for the BCCI to believe that the tournament could be conducted in a corruption-free manner.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2014, 19:45 GMT)

I think KXIP,MI,CSK and SRH/RCB will be top 4....

Posted by checkOnCricket on (March 21, 2014, 6:23 GMT)

This time i don't feel CSK is the strongest after the IPL auction... But after this time's auction every single team has got some match winners in the form of foreign and local players ... this IPL would be a treat to watch as it will no longer be one siders ...

Mumbai Indian have huge chance with the side they have this time though i hope chennai wins ...

Posted by santhoshmuthukumaran on (March 20, 2014, 13:26 GMT)

I think CSk have a grt chance of dominating in UAE.. They r having high quality spin n slow bowlers n the Chennai climate r the same as in UAE

Posted by santhoshmuthukumaran on (March 20, 2014, 13:22 GMT)

I seriously believe SACHIN TENDULKAR would be a great crowd puller in the UAE. Ppl remember his sand storm sharjah innings. I hope IPL and Mumbai Indians management would make full use of his stardom. Ppl like SHARUKH KHAN, PRIETY ZINDA are also great crowd puller.

Posted by bornon22november on (March 20, 2014, 12:46 GMT)

It's a great decision indeed! Moreover, it provides the food for thought to believe that the future prospects of IPL would get better and better from here on in terms of its popularity and commercial interests. There can't be anything better than globalizing the league for the sake of the game. It is a welcome move on the part of the BCCI and IPL franchises and they're on the right track. It remains to be seen as to how far they progress to capture the attention of cricket lovers towards the league. Time will tell that. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best! :-)

Posted by yohandf on (March 20, 2014, 8:03 GMT)

Dubai ground is a wonderful plalce to watch cricket . i have been there twice , recently watched a T20I between top ranked SL and Pakistan which was almost filled ground on Friday .During that tour all matches on fridays were huge successes . but not much crowd on mid week matches . So if indian expats turned out weekend matches will be full house and reasonable crowd for mid week ones .

Posted by imtiazjaleel on (March 20, 2014, 6:11 GMT)

I don't think all the 20 matches will have full capacity crowd. Spectators point of view it will never be the same outside India.

Posted by aniltjoseph on (March 20, 2014, 4:48 GMT)

A lot of people here have talked about lack of public support in UAE. Well, the simple reason for low attendances in the past was Indians in UAE were not all that interested in Pak matches. Mark my words, ths grounds will be packed for IPL...Indian fans always put their money where their mouth is, and thats why 80% of global revenues come from India.......please dont underestimate the average Indian cricket fan (even though the Indian team may be disappointing in comparison)

Posted by subbuamdavadi on (March 20, 2014, 4:16 GMT)

I see someone mentioning the fact that SA faced elections in 2009 when the IPL was conducted there and how they managed to conduct both simultaneously. Well, let us not compare apples and oranges....just look at the size of the elections in both the countries, the geographical spread and the fact that it is spread over so many days! The already sparse security forces have to be deployed from one part of the country to another....and moreover, the number of people coming for one IPL match in Mumbai / Chennai or Kolkata could fill up three stadiums in SA!!

Posted by mxnmxn on (March 20, 2014, 3:44 GMT)

UAE folks can afford time and money. Its better to host IPL permanently over there.

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 23:57 GMT)

In 2009, IPL was shifted to south africa because of elections. Guess what? South Africa had elections right in middle (April, 2009).

Bottom Line: Indian government is pathetic to give security to both IPL and elections.

Posted by santhoshmuthukumaran on (March 19, 2014, 19:41 GMT)

UAE may not be THE BEST option considering the slow pitches there, which could produce scores such as 130-140 in matches. Remember, the most memorable games(atleast the majority of the most memorable) in the history of cricket are the ones in which both teams have scored very high runs. For example Aus vs SA in J'bourg. Other matches of mediocre scores are like YET ANOTHER MATCH. So I hope the pitches would produce loads of runs which attract ppl and their attention.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 19, 2014, 19:33 GMT)

A brave decision by the BCCI to take it's showpiece event to an associate country. All 3 stadiums being used are suitable but will they be full? I remember when Eng played Pak there in 2012 the games played during the week were not well attended due to the ex pat fans having to work. The games played at the weekend were better supported but it does seem a gamble by the BCCI. The safer option would have been have played all the games outside of Ind in Ban.

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 19:12 GMT)

if i I think mayyapan is sitting there and CSK will again tell he is not the part of CSK

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 19, 2014, 19:02 GMT)

It will be a GRAND occasion for cricket fans in the UAE to witness a world class tournament like the IPL. I wish I could book tickets but sadly, my job doesn't allow me to take vacations yet. Anyway, I wish the tournament well. I have always supported RCB. I think we have a strong squad this time but I am really worried about our bowling. With all the flat pitches around the UAE, I hope our batters can do the job. I have utmost faith in Virat, Gayle, AB and coach Vettori to lead our side to the championship title. Can't wait !!!

Posted by ramz30380 on (March 19, 2014, 18:31 GMT)

@chechong0114 the IPL is being shifted only because of the national elections in the country - remember India is the biggest democracy in the world - so election is a big issue here... if not IPL will stay only in India

Its not about the non availability of venues but the non-availability of the kind of security that is needed for a billion crazy event such as the IPL to be staged in the country... As you mentioned there are varous venues in India (lots of new venues have come up as well) so tht will never be a problem!

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 18:26 GMT)

They will schedule matches at 02:30 in evening to increase television ratings.

Posted by Ramesh_Joseph on (March 19, 2014, 18:24 GMT)

@Sheetal Varma 50 degrees in April? Really! I lived in UAE (Dubai & Sharjah) for 10 years and at no time the temperature was more than 35 degrees in April. The peak temperature is sometime in July Aug. Dubai has high humidity of course, but not more than Chennai, where lot of IPL matches are played. UAE in April is cooler than most parts of India in April.

Posted by madhukrishna11 on (March 19, 2014, 17:59 GMT)

@chechong0114, the change of venue is beyond BCCI's control. The home ministry refused to provide security for the matches as general elections will be held in the month of April. Holding elections is a bigger challenge, India lack security personnel when it comes to reserve forces. It can't be held anywhere in India during elections, not even in Indore!

Posted by chechong0114 on (March 19, 2014, 17:27 GMT)

The thing I don't understand is India has a size of over 1million square miles and scores of other great venues like Indore for instance that are begging for any kind of cricket, couldn't the tornament just stay in India and use some of the not so popular venues, just asking?

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 16:49 GMT)

@ViratDevilliersFan: it is not going to be a warm welcome instead a HOT (~50 degrees temp) welcome in UAE.

How can BCCI organise the matches at 2:30 in the noon that too in the super hot month of April. BCCI seems to have ignored the very recent tweaking of the timings of the games in the previous PAK-AUS series in UAE. The first leg of the IPL is likely to face the most empty stands ever in its history.

Posted by chechong0114 on (March 19, 2014, 16:47 GMT)

Although UAE is one of the wealthier nations in the Middle East PCB has not been able to get proper attendance at most of the games they have played in that country since making it it's alternate home venue. However the IPL has some great business minds in its league and I am eagerly waiting to see if they will be able to get good attendance for the games that will be played there.

Posted by Omarrz on (March 19, 2014, 16:13 GMT)

Expect India to play Pakistan in next few months in UAE. BCCI want their batsmen to get practice in UAE so that they play Pakistan with ease and less pressure.

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 12:53 GMT)

waiting for Mumbai Indians match in Dubai...

Posted by ViratDevilliersFan on (March 19, 2014, 12:19 GMT)

here comes big daddy of t20 .. a warm welcome ipl 7..

Posted by sean187 on (March 19, 2014, 11:55 GMT)

@ Sultan : Firstly if BCCI is rich and can attract revenue its not their fault..if you resent it so much stop following Indian Cricket..secondly what makes you say the costs are fixed? Only players fees are fixed.. renting the stadiums from Emirates Cricket Board, hotels for the players, transportation, food an other logistics cost are all costs associated with hosting games. Add to that the fact that stadiums in UAE will not be filled to capacity (at least in the 2 30 pm games) and for all who always point out that India should have the best 11 consider this : Not all of 1.2 billion play cricket..and in a team game its always the right combinations that win you games..India has strong batting culture and hence there is scarcity of bowlers..and given your yardstick, China should be champions in all sport they participate in..

Posted by Ishfaqkhan.jk on (March 19, 2014, 11:52 GMT)

SH are certainly going to rock i am very happy to c parvaiz rasool in SH becoz they don't hav any off spiner in their lineup and he is gud with bat too. But having paid high for karan i don't c him in starting 11 At least for ist 3 games. But it will be a good learning point for him. I would love to see a gud domastic fast bowler in indian team. I hope U.A.E will suit SH. I liked a player frm i think rajasthan i.e pankaj singh. I don't understan why he was not bought by any team.

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 11:22 GMT)

SH are gonna rock this season just look at their line up Warner Finch Dhawan KL Rahul N ojha D Sammy I Pathan Karn sharma D Steyn Amit mishra Bhuvi

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 11:13 GMT)

good news for all over asia cricket fans as the dubai is very much reachable to everyone as against india but it could have been much better if Pakistani Players could be allowed to participate in this IPL to double dubai crowd....

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 11:07 GMT)

I have a strong feeling that IPL will not be success in UAE's condition... 2nd except weekend people doesn't have time to stadium & see the match….

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 11:01 GMT)

what is the procedure of getting vise for Dubai??????

Posted by Sultan2007 on (March 19, 2014, 11:00 GMT)

Excellent commercial proposition. Cost are already fixed and set largely in INR. The revenues from UAE gates will be far higher than in India. Trust the BCCI to be so commercially astute. Well Done. The Indian Team may or may not be ranked no 1, the talent pipeline may not be as exciting as it should be for a country of India's size, we may be struggling to find a decent bowling attack with very little on the horizon - but at least we have by far the wealthiest Cricket Admnistraiton in the wohole World!

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 10:58 GMT)

old news but I have feeling there will be regular league in UAE after that backed by UAE rulers

Posted by rmy619 on (March 19, 2014, 10:56 GMT)

#asexpected a good venue.. with some good crowd and good pitches as well.. !!! back to vintage venue..!!!!!

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 10:45 GMT)

What about other phase of IPL?

Posted by   on (March 19, 2014, 10:43 GMT)

Its Good to hear that U.A.E. is hosting 20 matches in this year IPL. Its very pleasing for the expats there to watch the cream of world cricket playing in there.

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