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aACAyIPL in UAE can do wonders for the region'.

Dhaka: The 20 Indian Premier League (IPL) set to be held in the UAE next month can do wonders for cricket in the region.

That was the view of David Richardson, the International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive, during a media briefing at the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

"I think the IPL coming to the UAE will do wonders for cricket in the region, in particular in Dubai where the ICC is located," said Richardson, justifying his decision to put out a press release praising the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) decision to choose the UAE as joint hosts while elections in India are taking place.

Richardson added: "Our office is in the UAE and, for that reason, I suppose it is only natural that we feel some responsibility for the development of cricket in the region. That press release was simply to acknowledge BCCI's decision."

Richardson also revealed that the ICC will be keeping a very close eye on the IPL matches in the UAE in case of any suspicion of match-fixing. "Rightly or wrongly, the region sometimes gets accused of having integrity issues," he said. "We wanted to assure everybody that in that respect certainly we are keeping a very close eye on the tournament and making sure that it remains above board."

When asked whether the ICC would help the BCCI in the staging of the 20 matches in the UAE, Richardson said: "Our office is in Dubai, so we have certain facilities which we will make available to the BCCI if they need them. Essentially, though, our involvement will be on the anti-corruption side. As we speak, I think the contract between the BCCI and the ICC-ACSU is under negotiation. So it is a little bit premature to say if our services are actually going to be used, but that's probably very likely."

Richardson added that that Future Tour Programme (FTP) has a provision for the Champions League Twenty20. "The Champions League is not officially part of the FTP. as FTP is only for international tours," he said. "But practically the number of members involved in the Champions League makes it sensible to leave that space open. Obviously, teams who play in the Champions League want their top players to be playing and available. They don't want them to be on tour somewhere else in the world."

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Mar 22, 2014
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