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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 03/04/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Bcci chief gavaskar confident of successful tourney in uae; ticket sales to go online today

David east chief executive emirates cricket council; talal al hashemi sport technical affairs division director abu dhabi sports council; omar al askari director emirates cricket board; ranjib biswal chairman ipl governing council; sunil gavaskar interim president bcci – ipl; dr. tayeb a kamali chairman abu dhabi cricket council; dr. ahmed al sharif secretary general dubai sports council; and yasir omar al dhoukhi of sharjah sports council during a press conference in dubai on wednesday. — kt photo by shihab


The major focus of indian premier league will be to run a ‘controversy-free’ tournament scheduled to start in the uae from april 16 board of control for cricket in india (bcci) and ipl’s interim chief sunil gavaksar said on wednesday.


The popular and cash-rich twenty20 tournament featuring top international cricketers stars has courted several controversies since its inception including match-fixing spot fixing and illegal betting involving franchise owners. the supreme court of india recently removed n srinvasan who owns the ipl team chennai super kings as the bcci chief and asked the former indian opener gavaskar to take charge.


The uae will host 20 matches in the first phase with defending champions mumbai indians taking on kolkata knight riders at the zayed cricket stadium in abu dhabi on april 16. “there has been tremendous cooperation between the police authorities the icc anti-corruption unit the bcci anti-corruption unit and i am really confident that all issues have been taken care of and we will have a controversy-free leg of the tournament in the uae” gavaskar said while talking about the efforts taken by the ipl to curb the corrupt practices.


“my first instruction was i wanted to have a controversy-free edition. when it comes to june 2 (final) it is only cricket that will be uppermost in everybody’s mind. the ipl 2014 would be remembered only for cricket” he said.


“we look forward to have a very exciting leg of ipl in the uae. i have been a regular visitor to the uae since 1981 when i first came to play at the sharjah tournament” gavaskar told reporters while unveiling the details of the tournament at a press conference here on wednesday.


“i have spent a lot of time over the years in this wonderful country and it is great to see the excitement and buzz being generated prior to a tournament of this magnitude here in the uae” gavaskar said. the online sale of tickets will commence on thursday on www.iplt20.com and www.ticketmaster.ae.


They will also be available at selected lulu hypermarkets in abu dhabi dubai and sharjah from april 6 while stadium box-office sales will start on april 10.


The tickets will be available in different denominations. the minimum price for the abu dhabi matches is dh20 for a single match and dh30 for double-headers. in dubai a ticket for one match will start at dh30 and dh50 for double-headers. in sharjah tickets will start at dh30 for a single match and dh40 for the double-headers.


Gavaskar was also very impressed with the facilities available for players. “the facilities are on par with most of the international cricketing venues and we have absolutely no doubt that players will be at home here in the uae on the field. the bcci venue inspection team has expressed satisfaction with pitches and ground conditions. i have particularly stressed on the importance of pitches because you get a good pitch to get a good game. when you have good cricket game the crowd comes to watch at the stadium” he added.


Ranjib biswal chairman of the ipl governing council is also hopeful to have a successful ipl season in the uae.


“i want to thank the uae government the emirates cricket board the administrations of dubai sharjah and abu dhabi as well as the three sports councils for their support and commitment to host the ipl. the 20 matches to be played in the uae will feature top cricketers from all over the world. i am sure that the opportunity to witness their heroes in action will prompt them to flock to the stadiums” he said. “we don’t have an opening ceremony here but there is a gala dinner hosted in abu dhabi on april 15” he added.


“we are sure that the uae leg of ipl will demonstrate the uae’s ability to host major events and welcome visitors to our lands” dr ahmed al sharif secretary-general dubai sports council said.


“the venues in the uae have hosted some extraordinary international matches recently and i am certain that everyone can expect some unforgettable cricket in the uae leg of the pepsi ipl 2014” omar al askari director emirates cricket board said.


“we are excited to see the best players in the world play on our shores and in front of the uae fans. the uae is home to sports-loving people it has wonderful cricket facilities and the sport is run by a body — the emirates cricket board — that loves the game and will work tirelessly with the bcci to deliver a memorable experience in the first leg of the pepsi ipl 2014” david east chief executive emirates cricket board said.


While asked about the prospects of an india-pakistan series in the uae gavaskar said: “i have just taken over four days back so i don’t know the thinking in bcci. when you have a huge event like the ipl moving to the uae that itself is perhaps sign that the bcci may be considering coming to the uae. having played the game here in sharjah i have seen the kind excitement here for cricket. i think it is a great place to come and play cricket.”


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