Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) has signed an official partnership with the world's preeminent Twenty 20 cricket league, the Indian Premier League (IPL), to tap into a strong fanbase between the two countries and promote Saudi Tourism in India.
The partnership was inaugurated here on Tuesday at an event attended by the Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Jay Shah, Vice President of BCCI, Rajeev Shukla, and Honorary Treasurer of the BCCI, Ashish Shelar, along with representatives from the Saudi Tourism Authority, including Alhasan Aldabbagh, President of APAC.
Cricket is one of the most popular sports around the world and IPL is the premier league in the world through this partnership, STA aims to tap into a strong fanbase between the two countries, encourage affinity and increase awareness of Saudi as a leading destination for Indian travellers, especially among young people.
The IPL is one of the biggest events on the international sporting calendar and the partnership adds to a growing portfolio of STA's global strategic relationships. Partnerships like IPL are a key pillar of Saudi's tourism strategy as they bring fans, athletes and nations together while sparking curiosity from those that may want to be among the first to visit Saudi as a destination.
In 2020, the Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation (SACF) was established and it currently looks after 16 regional associations in 11 cities, and counts 8,000+ registered players and 400+ registered clubs, with a total participation of 35,000 in domestic cricket tournaments and championships.
The Saudi cricket national team is presently ranked 32nd out of 180 nations in cricket. Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Member of the Board at Saudi Tourism Authority, said, "India and Saudi share a vibrant youth culture and sport is an ideal platform to engage and inspire young people.
Saudi is committed to supporting excellence in the world of sports and inspiring greater participation and improved quality of life among Saudi and global audiences alike."
Jay Shah, Secretary, Board of Control for Cricket in India, said, "Over the years, we have seen the Indian Premier League emerge as a dominant force on the global stage, generating strong appeal in the sporting ecosystem.
For us, it's an exciting prospect that the Saudi Tourism Authority has immense faith in the power of IPL to bring countries together. "We believe that the partnership will help promote Saudi's unique and diverse offering and position it as the leading leisure and tourism destination in the world.
This partnership will create newer opportunities for cricket in Saudi and strengthen the sport in the region," he said.