IPL coming to the UAE?

Security concerns in India could see cricket tournament played in the UAE

Cricket fans in the UAE could be enjoying the mouth-watering prospect of seeing the world's best players in the UAE before the end of the month.

The prospect arises after the Indian government announced it would not allow the IPL (Indian Premier League) to be played in the country this year.

Organisers are quickly looking for alternative venues and the UAE is among the countries in the frame.

While South Africa and England are also being mooted the UAE's proximity to India, combined with a huge expatriate population largely made up of cricket-loving Indians, Pakistanis, Australians and English residents make it an ideal choice.

The April-May season for the IPL coincides with a general election in India and the government is not equipped to provide sufficient security for both.

Following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai last year and a recent assault on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore it is feared that the IPL will be another high-profile target for terrorists.

The Twenty20 cricket tournament is supported by some of Bollywood's biggest names with teams being part owned by Shilpa Shetty, Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinita.

The UAE will host five one-day matches and a Twenty20 game between Australia and Pakistan at end of April and early May.

These matches will take place at the Sports City Cricket Stadium in Dubai, before moving to the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi from April 22 to May 7.

It is thought that the same stadiums could be hastily prepared for the IPL as well.

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