As humans, we always have a soft spot when it comes to specific sports, and I am sure cricket happens to be one of them in India. So, what if we were to tell you that the epicentre of cricket is back in action? Yes, you have got that right! The BCCI, in one of its latest reports, made a sudden announcement about the Indian Premier League (IPL) returning to action between the 19th of September and the 8th of November. However, the real shocker was when news set out, claiming the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to be the new venue for the IPL, considering India's current COVID-19 situation.
We shall review the top four facts based on the last time the IPL was held in UAE that you would want to watch out for:
- Glenn Maxwell's unconditional love for UAE:
IPL 2014 was Glenn Maxwell's first time playing for Kings XI Punjab, and he sure had a good time playing in the UAE, being the highest run-scorer in all the UAE based IPL matches. His marvellous performance, especially against Chennai Super Kings at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium scoring 95 of 43 balls, helped Punjab win the match, making it an excellent start to the season and helping them finish runners-up. After returning to Kings XI Punjab this season and coincidentally since the IPL has moved to the UAE, every team must watch out for the Glenn Maxwell factor.
- Kings XI Punjab's 100 percent win record in the UAE:
Probably being the happiest IPL team reacting at the news, the Kings XI Punjab has a 100 percent win record playing in the UAE. The winning streak is something they would want to continue, and with the likes of KL Rahul, Maxwell, Gayle, Cottrell, Rahman, and Shami, it seems very much possible.
- The Spinners' Haven:
The weather conditions in the UAE drive its pitches to be spin-friendly, a boon for teams with quality spinners. Especially with the likes of Sunil Narine, Amit Mishra, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Ravindra Jadeja, who have made essential contributions in the UAE, we can expect the spinners to play a significant role in being the X-factor, determining who'd win this year's title.
- UAE, a star-crossed destination for Mumbai Indians:
Talking about the downside, the Mumbai Indians (MI) might have a problem, as the UAE has proven to be an unlucky destination for the team, after having lost all five matches played by them in IPL 2014. This negative record is something that MI might want to look out for and improvise their strategies from the last time they set foot in the Emirates.
So now that we have gone back in the past to analyse these facts, the conclusion that can be drawn is that the team that quickly adapts well to the Emirati pitches with their top-order and spin attack will be more likely to lift the trophy this season. We can also be positive that teams playing this year must be thrilled to be back in action and so are we, after our cricketing entertainment had been side-lined due to the global pandemic.