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Middle East Emerging As Mecca Of Signature Cricket Events, Thanks To BCCI

From the noble cause for which the Sheikh Abdul Rahman promoted Cricketers Benefit Fund Series (CBFS), (founded in the 1980s, to honour and present a handsome purse ranging from $15,000 to $50000 to the present and past icons of the game, mostly from India and Pakistan), cricket has travelled a long way in the last 40 years from Sharjah to the nearby outposts of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is now recognised as a popular and profitable destination to conduct major competitions like the IPL and an ICC signature event and the people who have taken these two high profile tournaments are the BCCI which has been averse to playing Pakistan in a bilateral series at the neutral venues in the petro-dollar region. The game thrived there in the 1980s and 90s as the expats from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh saw much entertainment value in the thrilling matches played by the arch-rivals of Asia, and also were excited to see the legends in action. The BCCI, which is the host of the ongoing ICC Men’s World Twenty20, has scheduled a few matches in the Sultanate of Oman, but it’s the likes of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah that deserve a shabhash for making it happen — two big events in two months