Off The Field

Ravi Shastri thanks Indian government for taking IPL to UAE

Written by Vishwas Gupta

India’s head coach Ravi Shastri feels that the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the “much needed chaos” that everyone needs in these times when COVID-19 has literally brought the world to a grinding halt during the first half of the year.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has shifted the IPL to UAE where 60 games will be held in 51 days starting from September 19 to November 10.

“You know with this COVID thing happening, once this IPL starts in the UAE, you will see that chaos back again, which is much needed,” Shastri said during webinar ‘Arabian Sea Dialogue’ organised by the Observer Research Foundation.

Shastri said that UAE in 2014 had shown that it is well capable of handling a tournament of this magnitude.

“It is a great gesture by Indian government to take cricket to the UAE and the UAE government in responding (to it). I remember, in 2014, when the IPL came there (to the UAE), his Excellency did not leave one stone unturned and ensured that it was a top-class IPL and the public responded brilliantly,” Shastri said.

Shastri said that in these depressing times when most people are not able to venture out of their homes due to safety reasons, IPL is an enjoyment and welcome distraction for 51 days.

“It’s been depressing, it been unforeseen, the world hasn’t seen anything like this since the Second World War, to just get some sport action, back on television, day in and day out will lift the spirits of a lot of people and it is much needed at this moment of time,” Shastri said.

IPL is one big party that he simply can’t wait to get started.

“So I think, it’s going to be one helluva party and I am so happy that it’s gone to the UAE, because they put up such a good show last time around.

“They know now what to expect when we come with the IPL and the eight teams and I think it’s (IPL) going to be a runaway success – COVID or no COVID.”

About the author

Vishwas Gupta