12/12/2012 - Dubai Lifestyle News Posted by Bob Brunskill
Government officials are keen to see more people take part in sporting events across the UAE and they will be encouraged by the rising popularity of cricket in places like Dubai and Abu Dhabi.The Kerala Premier League (KPL) and Kerala Cricket League have been launched in the last few years and they have already proven to be a success.Overseen by the Dubai Cricket Council (DCC), the KPL has just completed its second season and the tournament is likely to expand even further in the coming years, as the prize money has been raised, Gulf News reports.In order to attract more interest, organisers of the league have hiked the winnings from AED 60,000 to AED 100,000.Secretary of the DCC Mohammad Lokhandwala told the news provider that it is good to see cricket thriving in the UAE."Community cricket has increased the popularity and participation for the game," he was quoted as saying."It is nice to see bigger prize money on offer for the teams and is a big boost for domestic cricketers. The matches are also keenly contested."Television networks have played their part in raising the profile of the sport in the Gulf, as they have been broadcasting news on the matches in the UAE and India.Dubai boasts some of the finest cricket facilities in the Middle East and the emirate's International Cricket Council's Global Cricket Academy is extremely impressive.The complex is seen as one of the best of its kind on the planet and a number of international teams have stayed there ahead of major Test series.England made full use of the state-of-the-art centre in October before embarking on a tour of India.Head of sports business at Dubai Sports City Maqbul Dudhia said England's visit was further evidence that the facility is the perfect place for the world's best teams to hone their skills.He added that the academy is in high demand and is completely booked out until the end of January 2013.