ICC to set up academy in Dubai Sports City

Published: Thursday, September 30, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai:World cricket bosses plan to set up a 25-million-dollar Global Cricket Academy at the Dubai Sports City.

An agreement to set up the academy was signed by International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ehsan Mani and Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, president of the Emirates Cricket Board and a sports city partner, an ICC statement said.

Dubai Sports City (DSC), which the Gulf emirate is selling as the world's first purpose-designed sports city, is one of 45 major schemes in a five-billion-dollar "Dubailand" theme park project, described as the Middle East's own version of Disneyland.

It will cover 4.6 million square metres (50 million square feet) of desert and include a 25,000-seat multi-purpose stadium, a 25,000-seat cricket stadium, a 10,000-seat hockey stadium and a 8,000-seat multi-purpose venue, all due for completion within four years.

South African star Ernie Els has put his signature to a championship golf course with an academy under Butch Harmon, the world's leading coach, and Troon Golf.

Manchester United are to open their first soccer school outside Europe, and Britain's ex-Davis Cup skipper David Lloyd will run a tennis academy.

As well as millions of square metres (feet) of residential villas, the city will have every sports facility conceivable, according to its developers.

Affluent Dubai currently boasts six million visitors a year for a population of 1.2 million, but is targeting 10 million by 2007 and 40 million by 2015.

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