With just two weeks until the start of the Pepsi IPL 2014, excitement levels are starting to build as the first leg of the tournament arrives in the United Arab Emirates.
Some 20 matches will be played in the UAE leg of the tournament which begins on April 16 at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, with the reigning champions Mumbai Indians taking on Kolkata Knight Riders - the 2012 winners.
With matches also being played in Dubai and Sharjah, cricket fans in the UAE will have a superb opportunity to see some of the finest players in the world battle it out in the exciting short format of the game.
“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,” said Sunil Gavaskar, Interim President of the BCCI-IPL.
Ranjib Biswal, Chairman of the IPL Governing Council, is equally as excited to share the event with the cricketing fraternity and people of 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," said Biswal.
"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."
The Emirates Cricket Board has a proven track record in terms of hosting significant cricket series and tournaments, with the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2014 a huge success just a matter of months ago.
“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,” declared Omar Al Askari, Director of the Emirates Cricket Board.
With preparations in full swing across all three regions, the online sale of tickets will commence tomorrow (Thursday, 3 April 2014) on www.iplt20.com and www.ticketmaster.ae. They will also be available at selected Lulu Hypermarkets in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, from Sunday, 6 April 2014, whilst stadium box-office sales will start on Thursday, 10 April 2014.
The tickets will be available in different denominations. The minimum price for the Abu Dhabi matches is AED20 for a single match, and AED30 for double-headers.
In Dubai, a ticket for one match will start at AED30, and AED50 for double-headers. In Sharjah, tickets will start at UED30 for a single match, and AED40 for the double-headers.
“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,” added ECB chief executive David East.
While Ahmed Al Sharif, secretary general of Dubai Sports Council hoped that hosting such a tournament would continue to attract people to the UAE.
Sharif said: "We are sure that the UAE leg of the Pepsi IPL 2014 will demonstrate the UAE's ability to host major events and welcome visitors to our lands."