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Exclusive: Resilience of Dubai and Expo 2020 inspired us, says Rajasthan Royals chairman Barthakur

Ranjit Barthakur, chairman of Rajasthan Royals. (KT file)
Ranjit Barthakur, chairman of Rajasthan Royals. (KT file)

Dubai - Expo 2020 Dubai will be the principal sponsor of the star-studded Rajasthan Royals team at the IPL this season


Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Wed 31 Mar 2021, 11:27 PM

Last updated: Wed 31 Mar 2021, 11:41 PM

It’s the resilience of Dubai and the UAE that inspired the Rajasthan Royals to start a partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai, Ranjit Barthakur, chairman of the IPL franchise, said on Wednesday.

Expo 2020 Dubai has become the principal sponsor of the star-studded Rajasthan Royals team for the new IPL season.

As per the agreement, the Expo 2020 Dubai will appear on the front of the Rajasthan Royals jersey in the 14th edition of the IPL (April 9-May 30) which will be played across six cities in India.

“We have started this partnership with the Expo 2020 Dubai because we believe that the Dubai 2020 is a resilient brand from a resilient country, the UAE,” Barthakur told Khaleej Times over phone from Kolkata on Wednesday.

“And we, at Rajasthan Royals, wanted to tie up with a resilient international brand. And it’s also because we have been inspired by Dubai 2020 and the leadership of Dubai and the UAE.”

The global respect for the UAE’s resilience grew manifold when the country salvaged the cash-rich IPL last year by successfully hosting the event.

“As I said, the UAE is a resilient country. And the Rajasthan Royals is a resilient brand. So resilience is the reason that inspired us to build this partnership,” Barthakur said.

The RR chairman said the partnership would benefit both the Royals and the Dubai Expo (October 1, 2021-March 31, 2022), which will draw millions of people from across the world.

“It’s a partnership that will benefit Dubai and Rajasthan Royals both. Dubai Expo is a world event. It will also benefit the IPL and all the countries participating in the IPL,” he said.

“Also, we are the only IPL franchise to have opened a cricket academy in the UAE. So you know, we have a stake in the UAE and we want to make that stake bigger.

“That’s why we want to support the Dubai Expo 2020. We also want to help Dubai 2020 get more representation from all Indian centres and industries, showcase India and the sub-continent.”

Barthakur then showed his gratitude to the UAE for their support at the 2020 IPL.

“UAE is one of the best organisers in the world when it comes to hosting premier events. So we can never thank them enough for the way they hosted a Covid free, healthy (IPL) tournament last year,” he said.

“So we want to support a country which supports good sports as they supported the IPL last year.

“And, you know, last year was really tough. But the BCCI and the Emirates Cricket Board, did a fantastic job. The BCCI has shown leadership qualities in continuing to make IPL even more global.”

Meanwhile, Jake Lush McCrum, Chief Operating Officer of the Rajasthan Royals, was also delighted with the partnership.

"We are delighted to welcome Expo 2020 as our principal sponsor for this upcoming season. At the Royals we are driven by our ambition to impact society through cricket and this partnership with Expo 2020 is another exciting step on that journey,” McCrum said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Sholto Douglas-Home, Chief Sales and Marcomms Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, hailed agreement with the Royals as the ideal partnership.

“Year after year, the IPL and the Rajasthan Royals unite the world with one of the most entertaining sporting events. Combined with the club’s commitment to a range of social development programmes, this makes the partnership an ideal match with Expo 2020 Dubai’s vision of bringing people and communities together,” Douglas-Home said in a statement.

“The international reach of the tournament is a powerful vehicle for increasing awareness of Expo 2020 Dubai as we count down to our opening on 1 October.”

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