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  • POSTED BY on | April 17, 2014, 3:00 GMT

    Cricket was unique until recently in that it depended upon international contests to provide the revenue.I hope they can fix the problems of the past because cricket needs a strong club competition in order to stay healthy.So far,the I.P.L. has proven to be a great idea but the execution has been lacking at times.Maybe one day they could have a 162 game schedule for each team!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | April 16, 2014, 17:18 GMT

    Those memories in 90's of SACHIN & SHANE WARNE in this beautiful ground are unforgettable in my memories. .. even ganguly too... I love this ground...

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | April 16, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    @samychenna - that's a good point...

  • POSTED BY Samychennai on | April 16, 2014, 5:22 GMT

    IPL is nothing but selecting the best 11 playing against Chennai in final. So, which team is going to play against Chennai in final? Any guess? wait tournament will decide it once start. My best wishes to the team make final. I am expecting RCB may do it this year.

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | April 16, 2014, 4:50 GMT

    Well worlds 2nd biggest league-aftnr Big Bash-rolls on amidst and after all the usual fanfare,hype.Theres no doubt it will be a big success as all previous seasons. But will it be able to match no.1 leage BBL.

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    Well,due to general election the first twenty matches are not held in India.Thanks to UAE for such help.Hope all matches are entertaining the local supporters.When come back to India ,we will start

  • POSTED BY android_user on | April 16, 2014, 1:13 GMT

    Hopefully this IPL throws up some good quick bowlers for India. Also looking forward to seeing how Kuldeep Yadav shapes up.

  • POSTED BY washingtonindian on | April 15, 2014, 19:30 GMT

    @cpt.meanster: Friend, I did not meant to sound like that, I certainly believe that IPL is Cricket & Fun, The reason it's more fun for me cause i am not very disappointed in IPL if one Team looses to another cause all the teams are from my country, However If India plays then i am more Happy or Sad when India Looses or wins, I get Very Disappointed if my Country looses to Rivals, etc and hence the Fun goes away.

  • POSTED BY on | April 15, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    @asithaSL "only Malinga performs well"? This comment is so funny..When SL Lost 4 straight ICC World cup finals, SL fans like yourself claimed Malinga performs well only in IPL and is a gold digger hence he retired from SL Test cricket..and now when SL won one championship in 5 tries, you are all praises for Malinga and say players like "Dhoni, AB, Rohit and AB DeVilliers hardly perform"? Classy!

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | April 15, 2014, 18:08 GMT

    @udura Gunathunge: If spirit of cricket means having no fun, filled with sledging or bad mouthing the opposition, questioning the umpire's decision etc, then we DON'T need that kind of spirit. Because, the IPL has everything in it - excitement, entertainment, drama, suspense, friendship, respect, love, admiration, pride and that's what cricket is all about. Therefore, I would say the IPL is everything about the spirit of cricket.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | April 15, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    @washingtonIndian: My friend, sport is all about entertainment whether you play for your country or franchise, whether it is test or ODI or T20 cricket. Players play sport to provide entertainment and drama to fans. Your post seems to suggest IPL is everything other than cricket. I beg to disagree, it's nothing but cricket. Ask all players involved and they will tell you.

  • POSTED BY washingtonindian on | April 15, 2014, 17:48 GMT

    The IPL is certainly Fun, It's all about Entertainment at the End of the day. I only wish Ajmal and few other Very talented Pak players were involved. Hope to see Yuvi back with some Crazy hitting, However i have not forgotten about his senseless innings in the finals, to his defense i think things happened a little too fast and then it was really too late...

  • POSTED BY android_user on | April 15, 2014, 17:07 GMT

    IPL definitely destroying the spirit of the cricket.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | April 15, 2014, 16:57 GMT

    @asithaSL & Kazim Ali: If you guys don't like IPL, then don't comment here. This section of Cricinfo is strictly for IPL fans and well wishers. Let's keep it controversy free and friendly. This year's IPL will be the BEST one yet and good wishes to all players in every franchise. Still, I support RCB ! Come on RCB.

  • POSTED BY Hate.ME on | April 15, 2014, 16:56 GMT

    @ Ajnathan

    U took 6 IPL seasons to knw how to beat India? lol Good U r improving :D

  • POSTED BY android_user on | April 15, 2014, 16:35 GMT

    @asithaSL you are right dude. never seen an indian bowler performing well in international t20s who performs in ipl.

  • POSTED BY on | April 15, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    @asithaSL - Sir, you haven't watched much International cricket. IPL stars like Johnson, AB D, Gayle, Kohli, Dhoni, Rohit, Narain, Mishra, Ashwin, etc did really well in all sorts of international cricket last year. Please talk logically.

  • POSTED BY on | April 15, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    @asithaSL: Nobody cares about your views;this is our domestic competition we love it.Better focus on your SLPL which is struggling to survive.

  • POSTED BY yoohoo on | April 15, 2014, 12:47 GMT

    @ jav_shareef - Tendulkar has retired from cricket (and IPL), so we wont be playing. But he is involved with Mumbai Indians management, so He should be there on the sidelines for atleast some of their matches.

  • POSTED BY asithaSL on | April 15, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    IPL stars are really poor in international T20s. why is that....??? Only Malinga perform well in both. but not than IPL definitely. big stars in IPL like Dhoni, AB , Raina , Rohit hardly perform in real arena. lol

  • POSTED BY jav_shareef on | April 15, 2014, 11:46 GMT

    Is Sachin Tandulkar playing in IPL and in which team?

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | April 15, 2014, 11:31 GMT

    Ready for IPL 7

  • POSTED BY soumyas on | April 15, 2014, 11:28 GMT

    When I was in school I used to get very very excited by the start of ODI world cup cricket, now I get same excitement for IPL every year. I know I have missed lot of personal milestones because of IPL, but it fires all new chain of neurons in my brain, when the first game is about to start I can't hold my nerves...

  • POSTED BY Lion_96 on | April 15, 2014, 11:17 GMT

    well ofcourse all tickets are sold out. Indian expats havent seen their players play in UAE for 8 years and when you consider that they are nearly 50-60% of the population in UAE, naturally u will see a huge turnout.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | April 15, 2014, 10:27 GMT

    Indian fans must realise nobody hates IPL we all love it but it's India and Indian cricket that's most hurt by IPL! We love IPL bcse it's our way of getting to know how to beat India in world cricket. Overseas boards and players make big money too so we certainly love IPL

  • POSTED BY sandy_bangalore on | April 15, 2014, 10:25 GMT

    IPL is the worlds best league...by a mile!

  • POSTED BY D-Coach on | April 15, 2014, 10:21 GMT

    Hope each player know their value of fans and improve their skills to the benefit of the game with healthy competition against whoever play. Finally what we want is to see the life in cricket to give great pleasure to Fans. IPL raise the Joy of Cricket and Fans!!!

  • POSTED BY landofcricket on | April 15, 2014, 9:41 GMT

    i still believe every year bcci can bring 20% of ipl matches in any one of these countries like UAE,bangadesh,Sl,Sa...people will support like now in uae...it will be financially successful also...

  • POSTED BY adilnzir on | April 15, 2014, 9:23 GMT

    IPL - the " Cirque du Soleil " of cricket

  • POSTED BY rohanblue on | April 15, 2014, 8:52 GMT

    excited to watch indian players in sharjah again, i guess only yuvi and Zak are the two players frm india who played in sharjah........

  • POSTED BY supacricfan on | April 15, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    IPL is IPL..love that,keep rocking BCCI!!

  • POSTED BY cricespnfan7 on | April 15, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    Well as a cricket fan I would like to say BEST OF LUCK UAE FOR IPL HOST&Hope bcci in future play there.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | April 17, 2014, 3:00 GMT

    Cricket was unique until recently in that it depended upon international contests to provide the revenue.I hope they can fix the problems of the past because cricket needs a strong club competition in order to stay healthy.So far,the I.P.L. has proven to be a great idea but the execution has been lacking at times.Maybe one day they could have a 162 game schedule for each team!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | April 16, 2014, 17:18 GMT

    Those memories in 90's of SACHIN & SHANE WARNE in this beautiful ground are unforgettable in my memories. .. even ganguly too... I love this ground...

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | April 16, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    @samychenna - that's a good point...

  • POSTED BY Samychennai on | April 16, 2014, 5:22 GMT

    IPL is nothing but selecting the best 11 playing against Chennai in final. So, which team is going to play against Chennai in final? Any guess? wait tournament will decide it once start. My best wishes to the team make final. I am expecting RCB may do it this year.

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | April 16, 2014, 4:50 GMT

    Well worlds 2nd biggest league-aftnr Big Bash-rolls on amidst and after all the usual fanfare,hype.Theres no doubt it will be a big success as all previous seasons. But will it be able to match no.1 leage BBL.

  • POSTED BY on | April 16, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    Well,due to general election the first twenty matches are not held in India.Thanks to UAE for such help.Hope all matches are entertaining the local supporters.When come back to India ,we will start

  • POSTED BY android_user on | April 16, 2014, 1:13 GMT

    Hopefully this IPL throws up some good quick bowlers for India. Also looking forward to seeing how Kuldeep Yadav shapes up.

  • POSTED BY washingtonindian on | April 15, 2014, 19:30 GMT

    @cpt.meanster: Friend, I did not meant to sound like that, I certainly believe that IPL is Cricket & Fun, The reason it's more fun for me cause i am not very disappointed in IPL if one Team looses to another cause all the teams are from my country, However If India plays then i am more Happy or Sad when India Looses or wins, I get Very Disappointed if my Country looses to Rivals, etc and hence the Fun goes away.

  • POSTED BY on | April 15, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    @asithaSL "only Malinga performs well"? This comment is so funny..When SL Lost 4 straight ICC World cup finals, SL fans like yourself claimed Malinga performs well only in IPL and is a gold digger hence he retired from SL Test cricket..and now when SL won one championship in 5 tries, you are all praises for Malinga and say players like "Dhoni, AB, Rohit and AB DeVilliers hardly perform"? Classy!

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | April 15, 2014, 18:08 GMT

    @udura Gunathunge: If spirit of cricket means having no fun, filled with sledging or bad mouthing the opposition, questioning the umpire's decision etc, then we DON'T need that kind of spirit. Because, the IPL has everything in it - excitement, entertainment, drama, suspense, friendship, respect, love, admiration, pride and that's what cricket is all about. Therefore, I would say the IPL is everything about the spirit of cricket.

  • POSTED BY cricespnfan7 on | April 15, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    Well as a cricket fan I would like to say BEST OF LUCK UAE FOR IPL HOST&Hope bcci in future play there.

  • POSTED BY supacricfan on | April 15, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    IPL is IPL..love that,keep rocking BCCI!!

  • POSTED BY rohanblue on | April 15, 2014, 8:52 GMT

    excited to watch indian players in sharjah again, i guess only yuvi and Zak are the two players frm india who played in sharjah........

  • POSTED BY adilnzir on | April 15, 2014, 9:23 GMT

    IPL - the " Cirque du Soleil " of cricket

  • POSTED BY landofcricket on | April 15, 2014, 9:41 GMT

    i still believe every year bcci can bring 20% of ipl matches in any one of these countries like UAE,bangadesh,Sl,Sa...people will support like now in uae...it will be financially successful also...

  • POSTED BY D-Coach on | April 15, 2014, 10:21 GMT

    Hope each player know their value of fans and improve their skills to the benefit of the game with healthy competition against whoever play. Finally what we want is to see the life in cricket to give great pleasure to Fans. IPL raise the Joy of Cricket and Fans!!!

  • POSTED BY sandy_bangalore on | April 15, 2014, 10:25 GMT

    IPL is the worlds best league...by a mile!

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | April 15, 2014, 10:27 GMT

    Indian fans must realise nobody hates IPL we all love it but it's India and Indian cricket that's most hurt by IPL! We love IPL bcse it's our way of getting to know how to beat India in world cricket. Overseas boards and players make big money too so we certainly love IPL

  • POSTED BY Lion_96 on | April 15, 2014, 11:17 GMT

    well ofcourse all tickets are sold out. Indian expats havent seen their players play in UAE for 8 years and when you consider that they are nearly 50-60% of the population in UAE, naturally u will see a huge turnout.

  • POSTED BY soumyas on | April 15, 2014, 11:28 GMT

    When I was in school I used to get very very excited by the start of ODI world cup cricket, now I get same excitement for IPL every year. I know I have missed lot of personal milestones because of IPL, but it fires all new chain of neurons in my brain, when the first game is about to start I can't hold my nerves...

IPL 2014 April 15, 2014

UAE all set to host lavish welcoming party

Karthik Krishnaswamy in Sharjah
The controversy surrounding the IPL has done little to deter fans in UAE from flocking the stadiums, as they gear up to watch the Indian stars in action for the first time since 2006
  shares 32

On Monday afternoon, the Sharjah Cricket Stadium looked like it had been airlifted out of India. This impression came partly from the lightweight tent-like roofs covering the stands at the other end, the sort of roof that has sprung up over pretty much every new stadium in India.

Mostly, though, it was all the branding, all those blue vinyl strips that covered every available surface with the IPL logo and the crests of its eight franchises. Tony Greig would have struggled to identify exactly which aisles all that dancing had taken place in, all those years ago.

Back then, back in the boom years of 50-over cricket, Sharjah had hosted the IPL of its time. There was money, there was Bollywood, there was even a tantalising whiff of impropriety. When it all became too much, India stopped playing there. For close to 14 years, the people of the UAE didn't get to watch India play, except when they came over for two matches in Abu Dhabi in 2006.

It seems weirdly appropriate that the IPL has come to the UAE precisely when - though not for that reason - the whiff of impropriety surrounding it is at its most pungent.

Not that anyone is staying away. Tickets for most of the first week of the tournament have already sold out.

"IPL is IPL," said an Emirates Cricket Board official. "There is so much enthusiasm that such things will not cause public interest to wane."

You could feel this at the ground, where crews of workers were putting things in place for the start of the tournament. Even the Pakistani expatriates among them were looking forward to the IPL, never mind their players missing out, never mind them missing out even when the tournament had pitched its tent at what has been their cricketing home for the last five years.

"We are feeling very bad," said Mohammad Arshad, a member of the stadium workstaff, speaking for himself and for his colleague Wasim. They occupied the two top-most rungs of a 20-foot stepladder, and were hoisting a cable up to the roof. "But we are supporting Chennai Super Kings. We like MS Dhoni's captaincy."

Leaning against the fence of a neighbouring stand, a man watched over a crew of maintenance workers hosing down the seats. This man, Mohammad Ali, turned out to be their supervisor. He has been in Sharjah for 11 years, and visits his family in Madurai once every one-and-a-half years.

"I like all the players in the Indian team," he said. "So I'm definitely excited about the IPL. I've watched Sri Lanka, West Indies, South Africa, Pakistan obviously, and even Afghanistan. Almost all the teams except India."

The official had said pretty much the same thing. "The Indian players were missed," he said. "No one expected the IPL to come here, so after it happened, suddenly, there has definitely been a buzz. It is a good break, and it's good to have India here, and to have the BCCI here."

The Emirates Cricket Board, he said, looked forward to the BCCI's support in helping the growth of cricket in the UAE. "We will seek their guidance towards developing cricket in this part of the world," he said. "They are like our elder brothers."

Back then, back in the boom years of 50-over cricket, Sharjah had hosted the IPL of its time. There was money, there was Bollywood, there was even a tantalising whiff of impropriety. When it all became too much, India stopped playing there

At times, though, they can get a bit Big Brother. Back in 2009, when the IPL was first moved out of India, the management at the Wanderers in Johannesburg weren't too pleased with what they saw as an attempt by the IPL to "take control of the entire Stadium operation, regardless of the cost or disruption."

Back in the old days, the members' stand in Sharjah had a clear view of the players' comings and goings, and the only thing separating the media and the players' dressing room was a four-foot long fence. But much has changed in the years since India last played there, and the public and the media definitely won't get the same kind of access any more, for better or worse.

On Monday, though, some vestiges of the stadium's old-world atmosphere still remained. A man with a camera seemed to have wandered in without too much of a hassle, and was clearly enjoying himself, taking photographs of the last-minute preparations at the ground, and even of the office walls, covered with action shots from the 90s.

At some point, though, his luck ran out, and he ran into a venue manager, who made him delete all his photographs. He had crossed the invisible line separating Sharjah Cricket Stadium and Sharjah, the IPL venue.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo