Dubai, Sep 11: Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals has held discussions with the Dubai Sports Council about sponsoring young women cricketers in the UAE as part of its plans to develop the sport here.
According to a statement, a Rajasthan Royals delegation, led by its chairman Ranjit Barthakur, visited the Dubai Sports Council this week and expressed its keenness to work with DSC. Barthakur said that the franchise is keen to promote cricket in the UAE, and has offered to sponsor on a yearly basis UAE's six top junior women cricketers and take them to India for specialised training.
"I would like to thank the UAE and Dubai government, for being such wonderful and gracious hosts. We thank them for hosting IPL which is one of the most important sports events in India and in world cricket, and a source of pride for India as a country," Barthakur said.
"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," he said.
Rajasthan Royals won the inaugural edition of the league in 2008.
"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 said.
Barthakur said the UAE is a diverse country with so many nationalities living here. "They do provide everybody with the 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," he added.
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.