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Indian cricket chiefs hail success of IPL leg in UAE
May 5, 2014, 9:29 am

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has hailed the UAE leg of this year's Pepsi Indian Premier League as "enormously successful".

The governing body said in a statement that the first part of the Twenty20 tournament had witnessed "an unprecedented success in terms of fan turnout, television viewership, digital and ticket collections"

The BCCI revealed that there were full houses at every game at the three venues in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, with 82 per cent of tickets paid for compared to 56 percent when the event was held in South Africa during the 2009 season.

BCCI Hon Secretary Sanjay Patel said: “The initial success has given us a lot of confidence for the India leg. We firmly believe that the steps taken to match and set new standards of fan involvement in the IPL have been enormously successful.”

Following the success of the UAE leg, the IPL has now returned home, to India.

IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal added: “As pleased we are of the brilliant response in the UAE, our next aim is to make the IPL more appealing to the fans back home. I wish for the cricket fans in India to get involved in the game by flocking the stadia, watching the tournament on the TV and availing of all the rich information and content we have to offer through our digital platforms.”

A total of 20 matches were played in three stadiums - the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium and the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

The final match in the UAE took place on April 30 between Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad at Dubai International Cricket Stadium

It is the second time in seven seasons that the IPL has been forced to find alternative locations because of a clash with elections. In 2009 the whole tournament was played in South Africa.

The IPL is the world's biggest T20 tournament and attracts many of the best cricketers. At this year's auction, the most sought after players included India's Yuvraj Singh, England's Kevin Pietersen and Australian David Warner.

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