By Andy Sambidge
Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah set to host total of 20 matches in prestigious Indian Premier League cricket tournament
More than 100,000 tickets have been sold so far for the Indian Premier League tournament, which starts in the UAE next week.
The rush for tickets has seen the 100,000th sold within six days of going on sale, officials said in a statement.
The most sought-after games are the two double-headers in Dubai, on April 19 and April 25 respectively, the statement said, adding that tickets for other matches in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah are also being purchased "at a brisk pace".
The IPL Governing Council confirmed last month that the first phase of the Pepsi IPL 2014 season matches will be played in the UAE from April 16-30 as India holds its general election.
A total of 20 matches will be played in three stadiums - the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium and the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
The opening match on Wednesday April 16 will be in Abu Dhabi, between the defending champions, Mumbai Indians and the 2012 IPL champions, Kolkata Knight Riders.
The final match to be played in the UAE will take place on April 30 between Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
The minimum price for the Abu Dhabi matches is AED20 for a single match, and AED30 for double-headers. In Dubai, a ticket for one match starts at AED30, and AED50 for double-headers. In Sharjah, tickets start at UED30 for a single match, and AED40 for the double-headers.
It is the second time in seven seasons that the IPL has been forced to find alternative locations because of a clash with elections. In 2009 the whole tournament was played in South Africa.
The IPL is the world's biggest T20 tournament and attracts many of the best cricketers. At this year's auction, the most sought after players included India's Yuvraj Singh, England's Kevin Pietersen and Australian David Warner.
A total of 154 players were sold, out of which 50 were from overseas while a total of 178 players will feature in the Pepsi IPL 2014.
Tickets can be purchased direct from the stadia in the UAE or from Lulu Hypermarkets at Al Barsha, Al Qusais, Al Karama, Arabian Centre in Dubai; Al Wahda, Al Nahda, Mai Saloon in Sharjah; and Al Wahda Mall, Khalidiya Mall, Mushrif Mall, Madinat Zayed, Capital Mall, Al Raha Mall, Mazyad Centre in Abu Dhabi.