BCCI team inspects IPL venues in UAE, expresses satisfaction
The two-member team said that the pitch conditions and the overall stadium facilities were at par with other international venues. The first leg of the IPL will be played across three venues here from April 16.
A team from the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has given their go-ahead after inspecting the three venues across the United Arab Emirates which was awarded the hosting rights for 20 matches in the upcoming Indian Premier League's first leg.
The venue inspection team comprising M V Sridhar, GM - Cricket Operations, BCCI, and P R Vishwanathan, curator, visited the grounds on Friday and Saturday.
"We are very happy with the facilities at the venues that will be hosting the UAE leg of the Pepsi IPL 2014. The infrastructure is on par with any of the leading international venues," Sridhar said in a statement.
"Considering the amount of cricket that has been played at these venues in the recent past, the ground and pitch maintenance is noteworthy. We are confident that the facilities and ground conditions will provide the platform for an exciting first leg of the Pepsi IPL 2014," he added.
The officials visited the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah Cricket Stadium and Dubai International Cricket Stadium. They also visited the ICC Academy in Dubai.
"The primary purpose of the exercise was to assess the ground conditions, status of the pitches, outfield and practice facilities, at the venues," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said in the statement.
"The team also inspected the facilities that are in place for the players, match officials and umpires, including the dressing-rooms and medical arrangements."
The UAE leg of the IPL, a part of which has been shifted out of the country due to general elections, will wind up on April 30 with Mumbai facing Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai.
The venue inspections were followed by a meeting with the venue officials and curators at the ICC Academy on Friday. The IPL guidelines and pitch requirements were explained and elaborated upon during the meeting.
The venue inspection team will be planning the training schedules of all eight teams participating in the IPL 2014, in coordination with the venues. All eight sides will be allotted a reasonable number of playing and training schedules at the venues, in the afternoons, as well as evenings (under floodlights).
The teams are expected to arrive in the UAE in the second week of April.