IPL GC lauds 'unprecedented success' of UAE leg
The Indian Premier League's Governing Council lauded the event's success in the UAE, claiming that the first leg of the tournament fetched "unprecedented success" in terms of fan turnout, television viewership and ticket collections.
"The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the numbers that matter from the 2014 season of Pepsi Indian Premier League UAE-leg. The first part of the Twenty20 extravaganza has witnessed an unprecedented success in terms of fan turnout, television viewership, digital and ticket collections," read a statement from the organisers, on Saturday.
"Inviting full houses to every game at the three venues -– UAE played perfect hosts. 82 per cent were paid tickets (compared to 56 per cent in South Africa during 2009 season)," it added.
Lauding the overwhelming response, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said the Board was pleased with the success.
"The initial success has given us a lot of confidence for the India leg. We firmly believe that the steps taken to match and set new standards of fan involvement in the IPL have been enormously successful," he said.
The GC claimed that the rise in fan interest was multi-fold and the official IPL website (iplt20.com) also registered a rise of 10 million visits in comparison to 2013 in the first 10 days of the tournament.
The IPL page on Facebook has grown two folds. The 'Likes' have risen from 3.8 million to 9.1 million, and are still increasing.
The IPL on Twitter (@IPL) has gained 360,000 new followers in the first two weeks, while the IPL Fantasy league now has 850,000 registered active users.
IPL chairman, Ranjib Biswal, said: "As pleased we are of the brilliant response in the UAE, our next aim is to make the IPL more appealing to the fans back home. I wish for the cricket fans in India to get involved in the game by flocking the stadia, watching the tournament on the TV and availing of all the rich information and content we have to offer through our digital platforms."
Image: Omar AL Askari, director, Emirates Cricket board; Sunil Gavaskar, BCCI interim president, and David East, CEO Emirates Cricket Board and Abu Dhabi Cricket Club