When the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) season returns later this week in the United Arab Emirates, organisers expect crowds to be back inside stadiums. After several players and backroom staff tested positive for COVID-19 during a devastating second wave in India, the IPL was stopped in May with 31 matches remaining.

“Matches will be played in Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi with limited seating available in accordance with COVID protocols and UAE government regulations,” the organisers stated in a statement released on Wednesday.

Due to the epidemic, the IPL 2020 had to be held behind closed doors, with broadcasters employing noise simulation to simulate the presence of people in the stadium. For India’s home series against England, limited capacity crowds were permitted.

Defenders of the title at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Mumbai Indians will face arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings in the first match of the second leg. Although the league’s organisers did not identify the exact number of supporters that would be admitted, sources suggested they would account for half of the stadium’s capacity.

“Fans can purchase tickets for the remainder of the tournament on the official website www.iplt20.com beginning September 16. Platinumlist.net is also a good place to buy tickets “, according to the league’s organisers.

Competitive cricket quietly restarted behind stringent bio bubbles after the COVID-19 pandemic slammed the sporting world to a halt last year. The series between India and Australia, which took place from November to January last year, was the first time that men’s cricket had spectators in the stands since the March coronavirus epidemic.