Royals’ Chairman Ranjit Barthakur visits Council to discuss mutual cooperation and offers to sponsor six promising UAE U-18 women cricketers every year for training in India
DUBAI (Pakistan Point News - 10th Sep, 2020) A delegation of the Indian Premier League team Rajasthan Royals, led by its chairman Ranjit Barthakur, visited Dubai Sports Council this week to discuss mutual cooperation and ways of promoting and developing cricket in the UAE.
His Excellency Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, received Barthakur in the presence of Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, and other officials of the Council. Rajeev Khanna, Vice President Operations at Rajasthan Royals, was also present at the meeting.
During the meeting, Barthakur – whose team cruised to the title in the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, under the inspiration leadership of Australian spin wizard Shane Warne - thanked the UAE and Dubai government for hosting the 2020 Indian Premier League in the country, as well Dubai Sports Council for their support in organising the mega event.
Warne is now the Brand Ambassador of Rajasthan Royals as well as one of the co-owners, while his Australian compatriot Steve Smith, one of the best batsmen of this generation, will captain the Royals here in the UAE. The Royals roster also boasts top international stars like England’s Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer Tom Curran, South African David Miller and Jamaica’s Oshane Thomas alongside young Indian talents led by Kerala’s Sanju Samson.
Barthakur also said that Rajasthan Royals are keen to work with the Council to promote cricket in the UAE, especially among the Emiratis and women and has offered to sponsor UAE’s six top junior women’s cricketers and take them to India for specialised training.
“At the outset, I would like to thank the UAE and Dubai government, for being such wonderful and gracious hosts,” said Barthakur. “The UAE’s great leadership, and their vision and ambition is an inspiration for us.
“We thank them for hosting the Indian Premier League, which is one of the most important sports events in India and in the world of cricket, and a source of pride for India as a country.
“I also want to thank Dubai Sports Council for all their support, and His Excellency Saeed Hareb for inviting me to the Council. We are really keen to work with the Council, especially on the women’s cricket side. The nurturing of women's cricket is critical and there can be nobody better than Dubai Sports Council to encourage women’s cricket.
“We would be really glad to help promote women's cricket in the UAE. We want Dubai to be the centre of excellence for children's cricket and women's cricket, and we have offered - from the Royal Academy at the Rajasthan Royals - to sponsor, every year, six female players below the age of 18 to train in India.”
Barthakur added: “It is very important to understand, that the Emirati people must also play cricket. The UAE is such a diverse country with so many nationalities living here. They do provide everybody with equal opportunity here. So if we can promote Emirati cricketers, it will go a long way in promoting cricket here. I think they have a fantastic establishment.”
The Indian Premier League is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world, with players from around the globe taking part. Launched in 2008, the franchise-based Twenty20 cricket league has grown in stature since, and in 2014, the IPL 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 US$6.7 billion, according to New York-based financial consultancy firm Duff & Phelps, and it has viewership in excess of 462 million.
The 13th edition of the league will be taking part in the UAE from September 19 to November 10, with a total of 60 matches being played at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium and the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium.
The eight teams taking part in the IPL 13 are – defending and four-time champions Mumbai Indians, three-time winners and 2019 runners-up Chennai Super Kings, two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders, who are owned by Indian filmstar Shahrukh Khan, 2008 winners Rajasthan Royals, 2016 champions Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Capitals, and Kings XI Punjab.