x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

UAE will prove a big hit for the fans of IPL

Cricket stars were unanimous in their view that the UAE will benefit immensely in shaping a future generation of cricketers by hosting IPL and other international matches.

The UAE, which has a strong cricket fan base, is a great venue for the Indian Premier League, say veteran cricketers. Jeff Topping/The National
The UAE, which has a strong cricket fan base, is a great venue for the Indian Premier League, say veteran cricketers. Jeff Topping/The National

Dubai// The choice of the UAE as a key venue for the Indian Premier League is a perfect fit given the cricketing aspirations of the country, veteran cricketers said on Thursday night at a panel discussion organised by the TV network OSN.

Cricket stars VVS Laxman, Waqar Younis, Adam Gilchrist, and Michael Vaughan were unanimous in their view that the UAE, which has a strong history of hosting first-class cricket tournaments and has an enthusiastic fan base, will benefit immensely in shaping a future generation of cricketers by hosting IPL and other international matches.

“The UAE has tremendous potential as a destination for cricket, especially with all the different nationalities residing here,” said Younis.

“We believe that the ICC [International Cricket Council] should look into building another stadium and bring more tournaments to the country,” added the former Pakistani bowler, widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time.

The panel discussion, hosted by British sports presenter Jim Rosenthal, provided insights on ICC’s World Twenty20 matches, in addition to allowing the sports legends to share stories.

“The multicultural diversity of the country is exactly what the IPL stands for. It is a platform that brings people from all walks to one shared pitch,” said Gilchrist, the Australian left-handed batsman and record-breaking wicket-keeper.

Laxman, former captain of the Hyderabad-based Deccan Chargers team who were one of the eight-founding members of the IPL, and Vaughan, once ranked one of the best batsman in the world, said that with ICC operating out of Dubai, the city – and country – is ideally suited to organise more cricket tournaments.

The stars will continue sharing their insights on the ongoing ICC World Twenty20, live on OSN Sports Cricket HD, until April 6.

OSN viewers will have access to the IPL, Champions League T20, Big Bash League and all India, England, Australia, Bangladesh and New Zealand home series’.

malkhan@thenational.ae