Dubai: Rajasthan Royals, the IPL franchise to be led by Steve Smith this year, plans to help Dubai Cares - the philanthropic organization which has made a global impact since it’s foundation in 2007.
‘‘We will work with them and are in touch with Reem Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairperson of the foundation to be of help in some capacity,’’ remarked Ranjit Barthakur, chairman of Rajasthan Royals. ‘‘The association will be in line with our philosophy of giving back something to the society - which has seen us working on issues like water scarcity in Rajasthan, raising cancer awareness, providing food to people during the pandemic,’’ he said.
Early this year, the franchise created a buzz when they announced Dubai Expo 2020 as their title-sponsors. However, the COVID-19 pandemic jeopardised the plans - forcing Royals to look elsewhere. ‘‘We have a great relationship with Dubai, but yes the logo will not be in front of the team shirt as the product is not happening this year. We want to help Dubai Cares and have in touch Reem Al Hashemi, the Director General of the Expo project who brought us on board. She is a forward thinking woman and Dubai is such a liberal economy and society. You will not get so many opportunities for cosmopolitan economy and we want Dubai to succeed,’’ Barthakur told Gulf News.
It’s been very courageous on part of India, BCCI and the UAE - who are calling it an opportunity rather than a risk. This is the restart button for the UAE. Our compliments to all three parties because it brings positivity
In a recent development, the franchise has decided send a message against the social taboo by sign a sponsorship with Niine, a sanitary pad brand for this edition of the league which will have a pride of place on the back of their shirts.
With all the eight teams already in the UAE and the countdown having begun for the IPL 2020, the IPL veteran thanked the three main stakeholders in daring to go ahead with the event - India, UAE and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). ‘‘It’s been very courageous on part of India, BCCI and the UAE - who are calling it an opportunity rather than a risk. This is the restart button for the UAE. Our compliments to all three parties because it brings positivity,’’ said Barthakur.
Replying to a query if going ahead with the tournament by shifting the event overseas during times of the pandemic was justified, he reasoned: ‘‘See, there is a value chain of the pandemic and value chain of the event. The question is because of the pandemic, did people stop living life ? And to pursue life, you need a livelihood.
‘‘It’s a philosophical question to ask if it’s right to host the IPL now – it’s like should we eat or not or watch TV or not. The IPL, apart from being India’s biggest global brand which reaches out to 800 million people, is also a mental health de-stresser. We can do such events but we have to be cautious in going about it,’’ he added.