Twenty20 World Cup: UAE stadiums to be at 70 per cent capacity as Oman reels from cyclone
Tropical Cyclone Shaheen struck coastal areas of Oman, including the capital of Muscat on Sunday, just a week before preliminary round matches of the tournament commence on October 10; England begin their T20 World Cup campaign on October 23 against reigning champions West Indies
Last Updated: 04/10/21 7:41am
Stadiums in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will operate at 70 per cent capacity for the Twenty20 World Cup, although conditions in Oman - where preliminary rounds are due to be played - are still to be fully assessed following a cyclone.
Tropical Cyclone Shaheen struck coastal areas of Oman, including the capital of Muscat on Sunday, just a week before preliminary round matches of the tournament commence on October 10.
Some 3,000 fans would be accommodated at Al Amerat stadium in Muscat, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said in a statement on Sunday, although the cyclone left streets in the Omani capital under water, prompted evacuations from coastal areas, and delayed flights in and out of the country.
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The 16-team tournament was shifted to the Gulf states as a result of a surge of COVID-19 infections in India, but the Indian cricket board (BCCI) remains the event host.
The ICC said the BCCI and itself had worked closely with host authorities to ensure fans are welcomed in a safe environment and COVID-19 protocols are applied at all venues.
"The T20 World Cup is the largest sporting event to be held in the region and it will be the biggest global cricket event since the pandemic with fans in stadia," the ICC said.
"In the UAE all venues will be operating at approximately 70 per cent of maximum seated capacity, whilst Abu Dhabi has also introduced new socially distanced 'pods' of a maximum of four spectators on their east and west grass mounds," it said.
Dubai, which hosts matches including the November 14 final, and Sharjah are the two other venues in the UAE.
The UAE is currently hosting the Indian Premier League (IPL) with fans at a reduced capacity.
England begin their T20 World Cup campaign on October 23 against reigning champions West Indies and also share a group with Australia, South Africa and two first-round qualifiers.
They will fly out to Oman on Monday where they will complete a mandatory quarantine period before heading to their tournament base in Dubai next Saturday.
Watch the Twenty20 World Cup live on Sky Sports from October 18.