Sharad Pawar thanks the ECB and volunteers for making Twenty20 Qualifier a “fantastic success”

Dubai, March 25, 2012: ICC President Sharad Pawar has thanked the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) for hosting a fantastic ICC World Twenty Qualifier UAE 2012, for the second successive time. He added that the success of the tournament will ensure that cricket continues to be well supported in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Mr Pawar said: “It has been a fantastic success. I think the cricketers have appreciated the level of organisation and expertise that has been brought to the event. I am truly grateful to the ECB and its staff for their work during this event.’’ Mr Pawar also complimented the volunteers for their efforts in making this an event a memorable one.

“The contribution of the volunteers has been really excellent. Seeing them at this event, one of the biggest in the history of the Associate and Affiliate cricket, has been tremendous. They worked tirelessly and the success of this tournament is because of the devotion and commitment of those volunteers.”

The tournament was spread over 12 days from 13-24 March during which time 72 matches produced outstanding individual and team performances. In a repeat of the 2010 final at the same venue, Ireland defeated Afghanistan by five wickets but both the sides qualified for the ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012 which will be staged in Colombo, Hambantota and Pallekele from 18 September to 7 October.

Mr Pawar said the quality of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier would act as a huge motivation for all the Associate and Affiliate teams in the future. Mr Pawar also thanked the players for their superb performances and hoped that players from the two qualifying sides will put up a good show in the ICC World Twenty20 in September. “We should not forget the cricketers who gave their heart and soul for their teams and played cricket in accordance with its rich traditions.

“I was pleased to see the high standard of cricket played. It was a pleasure to watch these wonderful cricketers produce high levels of skill and provide excellent entertainment.

“It is my view that the teams which did not qualify for Sri Lanka will be motivated by the quality of this event and will double their efforts to be successful in the immediate future.

“With the ICC World Twenty20 2012 not too far away, I am sure both Afghanistan and Ireland will be looking forward to playing against the Full Members in Sri Lanka.”

Mr Pawar also thanked the contribution of ICC’s commercial and broadcast partners when he said: “This represents a major breakthrough to expose cricket outside the traditional Test playing countries, and aligned with the ICC’s Strategic Plan, is an important step in promoting cricket to become a bigger, better global game.

“This tournament has been an excellent advertisement for all that is great about our sport and we look forward to working with these partners in the years to come.”

The ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier UAE 2012 became the first ICC Development event, featuring only Associate and Affiliate Members, to be shown on a live global television broadcast.

Six matches from 22-24 March was shown live from the Dubai International Cricket Stadium online at The ICC also secured live television coverage of these games into key territories via ESPN STAR Sports and its licensees around the globe, ensuring prominent exposure for the event across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and North America and beyond.

Tickets go on sale for ICC World Twenty20 at 9am tomorrow in Sri Lanka for Sri Lankan residents and then will go on global sale at 9am on 30 March 2012. There will be a second phase of the ticket sales on 1 August 2012.

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