The Middle East is going to be the home of the biggest cricket tournament of the year as Oman and the UAE are set to host the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
A total of 4 grounds will be used to host the tournament. We take a look at each of these stadiums in detail-
Al Amerat Cricket Ground
Al Amerat Cricket Ground. Photo: ICC
Located in Muscat, the capital of Oman, the Al Amerat Cricket Ground is the only stadium in Oman that will host the tournament.
All the matches that are to be played in this stadium will be qualifiers, including all 3 of Bangladesh’s qualifiers against Scotland, Oman and Papua New Guinea.
The capacity is just over 4000 in this relatively new stadium. The stadium has a turf pitch which will benefit the pacers. The presence of grass on the pitch suggests that the matches here will be low scoring ones.
The stadium has hosted 30 T20I games, of which 19 have been won by the teams chasing.
Sheikh Zayed Stadium
Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Photo: ESPNcricinfo
This is one of the 3 stadiums in the UAE selected to host the T20 World Cup. Located in Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium has hosted 47 T20Is, of which the side batting first has won 22.
The side batting first has crossed the 150 mark in these matches only 15 times with an average first innings score of 140.
In the last five T20I matches played on this ground, the team batting first has won all 5 matches. However, considering the dew factor, captains winning the toss here usually choose to field first.
Dubai International Cricket Ground
Dubai International Cricket Ground. Photo: ESPNcricinfo
The Dubai International cricket ground will be the home of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 final. It is the record-holder for hosting the most T20Is, having hosted 61 T20Is to date.
The team batting first has historically had the advantage as they won 34 of the total games played here. The pitch is known to become slow in the second innings, making run-chases difficult.
The side batting first has scored above 150 runs only 28 times. The average first innings score in this ground in T20Is is 144.
In the last 5 T20I matches held here, all 5 teams that won the toss decided to bat first and had won 4 of those games. The small boundaries make this ground favourable for the batsmen.
Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Photo: Indian Express
The Sharjah Cricket Stadium holds the record for hosting the most number of ODI games (241).
However, it has hosted only 14 T20Is. The average first innings score here is 149.
In those matches, the team batting first has won 10 times. 150 runs mark was crossed only on 6 occasions by the team batting first. 11 of the World Cup games will be played in this stadium.
The common scenario on these grounds will probably be low-scoring games. 140-150 might be the average score here.
180 plus scores that we are used to seeing in modern T20 leagues will not likely happen frequently in this World Cup.
The pitches for the World Cup are different from the ones where IPL matches are currently played on. The weather will also play a role here as the average temperature in UAE during this time is around 30 degree Celcius.
Adjusting to the temperature and humidity will also determine team performance. The heat will surely be on as all the teams will be giving their best to become world champions.