A cool reception for England in Abu Dhabi
England fans attending the second Test at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket stadium in Abu Dhabi are being asked to "keep their shirts on".
But if the weather continues to be as chilly as when we arrived here today, they will not need to be told.
The warning comes from the Chief Executive of the Abu Dhabi Cricket Club, Dilawar Mani, who I met in his office next to the ground.
Mani is a very impressive character. Originally from Rawalpindi in Pakistan he has lived here for over 30 years and has real enthusiasm and clearly a great passion for his job. But even he had to admit that supporters arriving in Abu Dhabi for the Test may be surprised by the relatively cool temperatures.
The Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium opened in May 2004 and has a 20,000 capacity. Photo: BBC
When you hear about frosty mornings back home in England the last thing you want to do is to complain about the weather. But I must admit when I envisaged what a Test series may be like amongst the deserts of the Middle East I perhaps wasn't expecting the overcast skies and sub-60F temperatures which greeted us as we arrived here in the largest of the Emirates.
Mani did assure me that the forecast for the Test, which starts on Wednesday, was sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s. However, an increase in heat can bring its own problems. "The Barmy Army will be able to sit in the sun here," he told me. "But we are going to have to ask them to obey some moderate dress codes".
Mani attended the Test in Dubai last week and told me he was surprised so see some England fans sitting in the crowd with their tops off. "We are more conservative in Abu Dhabi so we are going to ask, in a light-hearted way, that people keep shirts on."
He also confirmed that drinking in the stands will be forbidden although there will be alcohol available in some corporate and VIP areas. "We want the England fans to enjoy our hospitality, but sadly we won't be able to offer them a drink," he said.
But how many supporters will be enjoying the hospitality?
The huge banks of empty seats at the Dubai International Stadium surprised many used to watching England in crowded grounds. But even though entry to the Sheikh Zayed Stadium will be free for this Test, don't expect a sell-out.
It is another impressive arena with banks of grass for spectators and a futuristic south stand, which from a distance looks like a spaceship has landed in the middle of the desert.
But that is the problem - as in Dubai, the ground is very much in the middle of nowhere. It lies 25 kilometres from the main part of Abu Dhabi with no direct public transport. Most supporters will face a taxi ride of at least half an hour to get to and from the ground.
Dubai Sports City last week appeared almost empty during each of the three days' play. Photo: Getty
One of the issues in Dubai Sports City last week was that although the stadium appeared almost empty during the day, when we left an hour or so after play there were still long queues of supporters waiting for transport.
Mani assured me this won't be an issue in Abu Dhabi: "I have spoken to the department of transport and they will make sure at least 25 to 35 taxis are regularly available from 5pm."
But he was realistic in terms of what sort of numbers he was expecting to attend. The stadium seats 20,000 but Mani admitted the most he was hoping for was an attendance of around 12,000 and that would only be over the weekend when the cricket-loving locals may be able to come along.
"When we had the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Test here, we had an average of about 3,000 fans, but after prayers on Friday and Saturday we had more than 10,000," he told me.
"We had problems finding enough seats for the T20 game here between those two teams, but that was on a Friday and people I think are more inclined to come to the day/night games."
It is difficult to tell what sort of match we will have here because the Sheikh Zayed Stadium has only held two Tests. Both games were drawn with South Africa scoring almost 600 and AB De Villiers an unbeaten 278 two years ago.
But Pakistan could easily have won the test held here in October. "They dropped seven catches and Kumar Sangakarra made a match saving double hundred," said Mani.
It may be a so-called neutral Test but we will again be playing on imported Pakistan soil here so expect the pitch to be slow and low.
Talking about being neutral, I asked Mani if he was pleased that Pakistan won the first Test. "I was just pleased one team won the game," he said tactfully. "It would be great if we can produce another result here."
A result inside three days was certainly unexpected in Dubai. The Test Match Special team obviously covered the post-mortem comprehensively with interviews with the likes of Andy Flower and Jonathan Trott. But we were able to have a little downtime.
This was spent in perhaps the way you might expect. Michael Vaughan worked on his golf handicap including a round with some chap called Westwood who's about to play in a tournament out here. Henry Blofeld managed to wangle an invite to dinner at perhaps the world's most exclusive hotel, the iconic Burj Al Arab. I joined Jonathan Agnew and Alison Mitchell on an afternoon visit to the spice souq where Aggers was offered frankincense and myrrh to buy amongst other items
And Christopher Martin-Jenkins mixed a trip to the impressive Meydan Racecourse with relaxation by the pool. Where you'll be pleased to learn he definitely kept his shirt on!