Asia Cup: One billion viewers expected to watch India-Pakistan match

Dubai will host 9 of the 13 Asia Cup matches, including the final on September 11

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Fans cheer outside the Dubai International Cricket Stadium before the start of the ICC T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan in Dubai on October 24, 2021. (AFP file)
Fans cheer outside the Dubai International Cricket Stadium before the start of the ICC T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan in Dubai on October 24, 2021. (AFP file)

By Team KT

Published: Thu 25 Aug 2022, 7:42 PM

Dubai is ready to deliver a safe Asia Cup, the premier cricket tournament of the continent, the Dubai Sports Council said on Thursday.

The 16-day tournament kicks off this Saturday, August 27, when Sri Lanka face Afghanistan in the opening match at the Dubai International Stadium.

The city's world-class sports, hospitality and tourism infrastructure and an unrivalled ability to successfully organise mega events were instrumental in the UAE’s selection as the tournament host.

Dubai, the headquarters of the International Cricket Council, will host 9 of the 13 Asia Cup fixtures, including the opening match, the India-Pakistan clash (August 28), and the title decider on September 11.

The other four matches of the tournament will be held at the historic Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

"Dubai is today one of the world’s most successful cities for hosting mega-events thanks to the vision of its leadership, a clear strategy, robust infrastructure, and event-management capabilities that make participating and attending events in the city a unique experience," said Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of the DSC.

"Dubai is now a destination of choice for individual athletes and squads. It is an ideal location to host major sports events thanks to its accessibility and amenities required to welcome participants and the audience.”

The UAE will host the Asia Cup for the fourth time this year, having staged the tournament in 1984 (inaugural edition), 1995 and 2018.

Dubai hosted eight of the 13 Asia Cup matches in 2018, including the final when India beat Bangladesh to lift the Cup at the Dubai International Stadium.

Dubai has repeatedly proven its capability to successfully host world-class events, including Expo 2020, the largest event ever held in the Arab world.

“The UAE in general and Dubai, in particular, has gained the world’s confidence in its ability to host any event successfully. Dubai has set global benchmarks and is now a role model in hosting and organising major global sports events, such as cricket’s Twenty20 World Cup and the Indian Premier League at Dubai International Stadium,” said Hareb.

With over four million people from India and Pakistan calling the UAE their home, tickets to the India-Pakistan header on August 28, dubbed the ‘final-before-the final’, were sold out in hours.

More than one billion viewers all over the world are expected to watch the contest on international platforms.

Preparations for accommodating spectators at the Dubai International Stadium to ensure a smooth experience are complete.

Last week, Brigadier Rashid Khalifa Al Falasi, Acting Assistant Commandant for Operations Affairs in Dubai Police, reaffirmed the Dubai Police’s Events Security Committee’s (ESC) full readiness to secure the Asia Cup matches.

He said Dubai would deploy the latest technologies to secure the venue in collaboration with its key partners and other members of the ESC. Brig.

Al Falasi also reviewed the ESC’s awareness efforts towards educating the public about the importance of positive engagement and adherence to all safety measures and protocols when attending the matches.

Gates will open three hours before the start of the matches. The multi-purpose venue has a seating capacity of 25,000 and has hosted many international sporting events and concerts.

The stadium is in Dubai Sports City on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road. It is accessible by public transport while dedicated parking is available for fans who choose to arrive in their private vehicles.

Dubai Police has urged spectators to strictly adhere to all safety and security guidelines issued by the authorities and reiterated that only bona fide ticket holders would be allowed entry to the stadium.

The Police have also shared a list of restricted items that won’t be permitted inside the stadium.

It includes remote-controlled devices (including drone cameras), glass tumblers or bottles, selfie sticks, umbrellas, radio communication devices, bikes or skateboards, and other usual, banned items such as sharp objects, fireworks, etc.

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