The commencement of the second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has brought some more good news for T20 cricket lovers as fans are all set to make a grand entry in the T20 league in a limited capacity. UAE gear up for the resumption of IPL 2021 with a blockbuster contest between five-time champions Mumbai Indians and MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on September 19.

In a press release on Wednesday, BCCI confirmed that the UAE leg of IPL 2021 will mark the spectators for the cash-rich T20 tournament. This will be the first time since 2019 when IPL will have fans at the stadium, albeit in limited numbers. In 2020, IPL was played behind closed doors in UAE and 29 matches of IPL 2021 were also held without fans across multiple cities in India.

“IPL 2021 resumes with the five-time champions and current title holders Mumbai Indians taking on three-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. This match will be a momentous occasion as IPL will welcome the fans back to the stadiums after a brief hiatus owing to the Covid-19 situation,” the IPL release stated on Wednesday.

The remainder of the IPL 2021 will be played across three venues in the UAE — Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi and all three venues will have limited seating available, keeping in mind the Covid-19 protocols in the UAE.

“Matches will be played at Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi with limited seating available keeping in mind the COVID protocols and UAE government regulations,” it added.

It will be the first time since 2019 when the IPL will be played in front of an audience.

Last year, the league was played behind closed doors in the UAE while the first half of the 2021 edition was also played inside a strict bio-bubble.

Although the league organisers did not specify the exact number of fans who would be let in but sources said their presence would be 50 per cent of the stadium capacity.

“Fans can buy tickets starting September 16 for the remainder of the tournament on the official website www.iplt20.com. Tickets can also be purchased on PlatinumList.net,” the league organisers said.

In the first phase of IPL 2021, 29 matches of the T20 league were played in India before COVID-19 breached the bio-bubble defence and led to its postponement. The league now restarts with teams targeting Playoffs in home stretch and individual players with an eye on T20 World Cup.