World No. 1 Rory McIlroy will make the Irish Open "one of the hottest tickets" in European golf next summer, according to Karl MacGinty of the IRISH INDEPENDENT. He "vowed to cut back" on his tournament schedule in '13, but is determined to support his national championship. McIlroy's participation at Carton House "will be confirmed at a briefing to be staged by the promoters and the host club within the next fortnight." This represents a "massive boost" to the tournament as it gets ready to return to Ireland following last summer's visit to Royal Portrush, where the Irish Open "became the first European Tour sanctioned event to draw crowds greater than 100,000" (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 11/27).
Events and Attractions
The UAE "has been successful in its bid" to host the Int'l Tennis Federation's Annual General Meeting in '14. The ITF AGM "is one of the most-important events on the int'l tennis calendar." The bid to host was contested by Egypt and Serbia (GULF NEWS, 11/27). ... County cricket "returns to a more familiar calendar next season" with the return of matches in late September and the LV= County Championship season not starting until the second week of April (LONDON TIMES, 11/27). ... The Netherlands national cricket team has arrived in Dubai for a month-long tour of the UAE and India. It will train at facilities of the Int'l Cricket Council Global Cricket Academy in Dubai in preparation for three one-day matches against UAE teams. Then it will travel to India, where it will play three matches against the England Performance Programme Squad and two against a Mumbai XI (ICC). ... The Dubai Cricket Council plans to restart its 50-over Division One competition after six years. DCC honorary General Secretary Mohamed Lokhandwala said, "It is a very, very difficult task to undertake, but we are going to take on that challenge" (THE NATIONAL, 11, 26).