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The crowd may return for the second season of the Indian Premier League 2021, which kicks off on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates.

Mubashir Usmani, the general secretary of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), told Gulf News that the board will talk to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and UAE experts about enabling crowds to return to the stands.

According to Usmani, the ECB would collaborate closely with the BCCI and the UAE government to gain approval for the proposed procedures to allow fans to enter the stadium. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 flare-up, the ECB will collaborate with the ICC to assess their onlooker needs.

“As hosts, ECB will work closely with the authorities to seek approval on what protocols need to be followed — this includes fan attendance, we will then discuss it with the BCCI as well as the ICC to assess their spectator requirements. We want our ex-pat and Emirati sports-loving fans in the UAE to be able to watch the action from the stands,” he was quoted as saying.

According to reports, the UAE government has given the go-ahead to allow 60% capacity for the remaining matches within the arena. On September 19, the second phase of the IPL 2021 will resume with the battle between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.

In total, 31 matches will be played in less than 27 days, including qualifiers.

Despite multiple phone calls, BCCI executives were unable to resolve the issue.

Given that the IPL’s first season came to a sudden end when the bio-bubble burst and many Coronavirus cases were recorded among players and staff across teams, the tally will require thorough review by the BCCI.

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