Many years have passed since the IPL was first broadcast in Pakistan, but for the first time a large number of Pakistani fans seem to be into the IPL craze.
A large number of Pakistani fans will be present at these matches in the United Arab Emirates. But since 2018, when the IPL stopped being shown on television in Pakistan, some online sports portals are commenting on these matches, which is increasing the curiosity among fans.
Pakistan has the most playing experience in the UAE, having made these grounds its home turf for ten consecutive years. Therefore both the experts and the fans think these fields will create a big problem in the IPL.
The heat and humidity in the three cities of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai will also be a big challenge for the players. This is because in most cases players will have to play at temperatures of around 40 degrees celsius.
But even more difficult than the heat are the sandy areas outside the stadium. There is a lot of heat around because of the heat captured in the sand. It will be a challenge for the players to face it.
Further, the three stadiums are expected to have high humidity levels due to their proximity to the beach. Humidity levels in all three cities will be around 70 per cent, which could lead to lower water levels in the cricketers’ bodies.
Since Pakistani players have more experience on these fields, they believe it will not be easy to play here first. However, there may be some major upsets. Incomplete pitches, especially for batting, will cause problems for batsmen.
Some former cricketers even blame these pitches for the poor condition of Pakistani batting. Therefore they believe it will be very difficult for Indian players to play here.
That said, there are some players who will prove to be the best in even very difficult situations, including Virat Kohli, David Warner, Jos Buttler, Andre Russell and Rashid Khan.
Captain Kohli will be Royal Challengers Bangalore’s biggest hope this season. So far in this tournament Kohli has not been able to perform as expected.
In the 2016 season he led his team to the finals by scoring 640 runs in 16 matches, and with Kohli in the Bangalore squad this year with names like AB de Villiers of South Africa and Aaron Finch of Australia, Bangalore fans hope their team will do something special this time.
Warner, known for his smoky batting, scored 692 runs in 12 matches last year. Thanks to his leadership and aggressive batting, Sunrisers Hyderabad won the title in 2016 and are looking to repeat the same performance in the UAE this year.
Buttler has been the backbone of the English ODI team since the World Cup, which is why he’s also a very important player for the Rajasthan Royals.
Andre Russell, the West Indies power hitter who single-handedly led the Kolkata Knight Riders to victory in several matches, could be a nightmare for any bowler. The all-rounder was named the most valuable player in the IPL last year, taking 11 wickets and scoring 510 runs for his team. Two-time champions Kolkata are considering fielding Andre Russell at No. 3 this year to take advantage of his aggressive batting.
Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan has amassed 300 wickets in his T20 career during the recent Caribbean Premier League. The 21-year-old has made a name for himself in leagues around the world, but his performances for the Hyderabad team have garnered the most attention. Khan, one of the best bowlers in the world, has taken a total of 55 wickets in 46 matches in the IPL.