In some good news for the development of women’s cricket globally, IPL franchise Rajasthan Royal, in a statement, offered to sponsor UAE’s top junior women’s cricketers. The IPL 2020 schedule was officially announced by the BCCI couple of weeks back, with the tournament slated from September 19 to November 10. The season opener will see defending champions, Mumbai Indians, take on their last season’s finalists, Chennai Super Kings.
The team from Rajasthan will play their opening fixture against Chennai Super Kings on the 22nd of September. Building up to the IPL season, a delegate from the Royals, including Chairman, Ranjit Barthakur, went on a tour of the Dubai Sports Council. Having played a key role in setting up youth academies and grassroots foundations in Rajasthan, the IPL franchise plans to take this global by sponsoring and offering training to UAE’s top 6 junior women cricketers.
“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,” said the Royals Chairman.
Barthakur also added, “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.”
Having played in the 2015 World Cup and the 2014 T20 World Cup, UAE is yet to participate in a World Cup since. However, the signs in UAE Cricket is promising, with world-class cricketing infrastructure – the likes of Sharjah Stadium, and emphasis on grassroots development to nurture the cricketers. UAE is a melting pot of various cultures, which is reflected in the national team as well, with players of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Sri Lankan origin in their ranks.
“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 Royals Chairman said as his vote of confidence.
Lastly, Barthakur also spoke about the hospitality and safety provided to the teams by the UAE Government, “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.”