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Waqar Younis wants more top-class cricket in the UAE

Dubai: Pakistani great Waqar Younis believes the International Cricket Council (ICC) should cash in on the popularity of cricket in the Gulf, which has led to the arrival of the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) here next month.

The first phase of this year’s IPL will be played in the UAE from April 16 to 30, with Abu Dhabi hosting the opener between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders.

“You have people from across the world here. I think the ICC should start thinking about hosting the Champions Trophy or the Twenty20 World Cup here. Maybe they should even build a new stadium,” Younis said during an evening with cricket legends hosted by television network OSN late on Wednesday.

“The IPL will be a huge treat for cricket. Every time I’ve come here I’ve noticed how many of them love the game and with three fantastic grounds the IPL will surely be exciting.”

Former Australia wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist likened the IPL to the energy of Dubai. “The IPL for me is a real melting pot, just like what Dubai stands for. There is history and there is respect for each other and I think the IPL simply fits so perfectly into this region. It will be the world of cricket coming together,” he said.