UAE says IPL hosting cements its status as global sporting destination

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The UAE’s ability to host the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket festival is proof of the country’s status as a global sporting hub, a senior official has said.

Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Sports Council, congratulated stakeholders for the “scintillating” success so far of the 13th edition of the IPL in the UAE.

Organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India in cooperation with the Emirates Cricket Board and other government entities, the much-anticipated 2020 edition started on September 19 with no fans due to the ongoing threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Sports Council

He said: “The UAE has always welcomed the world with open arms and, thanks to our visionary leadership, we have available all the ingredients needed for the success of any event taking place on our soil, whether it is a sports event, economic or any other.

“The hospitality of the people of UAE is renowned across the world, and we are always keen support and cooperate with everyone who seeks our assistance.

“The decision of our friends from India to host one the world’s premier sporting events here is a confirmation of UAE’s distinctive position on the global sports map and our ability to organise major tournaments in different sports because of our top-notch sports, hospitality and tourism infrastructure.”

The IPL is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world, with top players from around the globe taking part.

Launched in 2008, the franchise-based Twenty20 cricket league has grown in stature since, and in 2014, it was ranked sixth among all sports league in the world in terms of average attendance.

The brand value of the 2019 Indian Premier League was estimated to be $6.7 billion, according to New York-based financial consultancy firm Duff & Phelps, and it had viewership in excess of 462 million.

The 13th edition of the league will see a total of 60 matches will being played in the UAE, with the final taking place on November 10 at Dubai International Stadium in Dubai Sports City.

Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium and the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium are the other hosts for the tournament.

Defending and four-time champions are the Mumbai Indians.

The Dubai Sports Council chairman added: “Choosing UAE to host this major tournament at this particular time has great significance and is indicative of the world’s trust and confidence in UAE’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. Players and officials from around the world are here for the IPL, and they are here because they feel safe and secure in the UAE.

“Their confidence and trust is a badge of honour for us, and a tribute to the wisdom of our leadership as well as the great work done by our Covid-19 heroes in the first line of defence, and, of course, the cooperation of the members of the community.”

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