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UAE's growing status in the cricket world is being cemented with a Guinness World Record bid for the 'Largest Cricket Bat' by the national team's sponsor OSN.
The pay-TV network unveiled a giant cricket bat, 32 metres long and four metres wide, that is certain to create a buzz not only in UAE but also worldwide during cricket's global showpiece which runs from February 14 to March 29 in Australia and New Zealand.
"What we wanted to do was just before World Cup starts and just before the UAE national team goes for the World Cup to Australia and New Zealand, we wanted to do an activity where we could engage UAE cricket fans and give them an opportunity to come here and say something to the UAE team. So that is what this activity is about," said Hamad Malik, Chief Marketing Officer of OSN, at the launch on Monday.
"The objective of this is to demonstrate our passion for cricket and wish the UAE good luck in the upcoming ICC World Cup tournament," he added.
As tall as an eight to 10-storey building, the ‘Largest Cricket Bat’ weighs a staggering 950 kgs and is nearly 32 times longer than a standard cricket bat.
Placed horizontally, the bat’s length is equivalent to the distance of seven cars parked bumper to bumper.
In sheer proportion, it would take a player about 52.8 metres tall to wield the bat.
The cricket bat will be on display at the ICC Academy in Dubai Sports City until the end of March.
Cricket fans will be able to write a message on the bat, expressing their support for the UAE National Cricket Team before they leave the UAE to travel to Australia later this week.
"I've never seen a bat that big in my life. I think it's a fantastic idea... very novel, very different. It will be nice for the people who come down to the (ICC) Global Academy to be able to sign it and almost leave a little mark and wish for the team. It's very nice... something the guys will appreciate," said Paul Franks, UAE's assistant coach at the World Cup.
"It's a very good way to start obviously and to send the team to the World Cup," said Khurram Khan, UAE's premier batsman.
"It's very exciting," added UAE captain Mohammed Tauqir.
"I think it's brilliant. OSN has prepared this for us and it's a great privilege to have OSN as sponsor," said Andri Berenger, a young member of the UAE team.
“The unveiling of the ‘World’s Largest Cricket Bat’ is more than a symbolic gesture. It is our tribute to the world of cricket, while also celebrating OSN’s exclusive telecast rights of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. It also puts the spotlight on the UAE and the steady strides it has made in international cricket," said Malik.
OSN is the official sponsor of the UAE National Cricket Teams, and holds exclusive broadcast rights for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
“The giant bat will add to the pride of the UAE in its steadfast commitment to promoting the game in the region. As the home of cricket, OSN is also saluting the UAE National Men’s Cricket Team as they take on international teams at the ICC Cricket World Cup, and we will bring all the action live and exclusively for fans across the region,” added Malik.
During the ICC Cricket World Cup in New Zealand and Australia, OSN will telecast all the matches of UAE Men’s National Cricket Team, placed in Pool B.
UAE will face Ireland (February 25), India (February 28), Pakistan (March 4) and South Africa (March 12).
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