The much-awaited Indian Premier League (IPL) starts on Saturday with defending champion Mumbai Indians taking on Chennai Super Kings at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, reports The Hindu.
The Twenty20 tournament is expected to be a welcome relief to cricket fans during the coronavirus pandemic.
The short-form extravaganza normally starts in March but along with other major international sporting events was postponed as countries went into virus lockdowns. It was then moved to the United Arab Emirates as cases rose in India, reports Al-Jazeera.
All the eight teams have been in strict, bio-secure "bubbles" since landing in the UAE, with the competition set to kick off when defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi on September 19.
There will be no gala opening ceremony for the world's richest T20 league, and the games will be played behind closed doors at three venues including Dubai and Sharjah.
Yet the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Sourav Ganguly, expects a surge in viewership for the 13th edition with the matches scheduled for India's evening primetime TV slots.
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS SQUAD: MS Dhoni (Captain & Wicketkeeper), Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Faf du Plessis, Shardul Thakur, Mitchell Santner, Dwayne Bravo, Josh Hazlewood, Kedar Jadhav, Karn Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Ambati Rayudu, Lungi Ngidi, Sam Curran, Monu Kumar, Shane Watson, Sai KishoreNarayan Jagadeesan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KM Asif, Ravindra Jadeja and Murali Vijay.
MUMBAI INDIANS SQUAD: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Quinton de Kock (Wicketkeeper), Kieron Pollard, Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mitchell McClenaghan, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Mohsin Khan, Prince Balwant Rai Singh, Digvijay Deshmukh, Hardik Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ishan Kishan, Aditya Tare and James Pattinson.