Winter at Tantora festival: First desert polo tournament kicks off

Saudi Arabia’s first desert polo tournament kicks off on Thursday. (SPA)
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Updated 10 February 2020

Winter at Tantora festival: First desert polo tournament kicks off

  • The AlUla region provides the perfect natural stage to witness some of the greatest polo stars on the planet in action

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s first desert polo tournament kicks off on Thursday amid the spectacular surroundings of the AlUla UNESCO heritage site.
The three-day event, organized by the Royal Commission for AlUla and the Saudi Polo Federation, is part of the Winter at Tantora festival and will feature leading international polo players competing in a desert environment — a world first.
Competitors include Argentine Pablo Mac Donough, leading a La Dolfina team fresh from an 11th victory at the Argentinian Open.

As one of the long-term supporters of this prestigious sport, Richard Mille will be the official timekeeper and title sponsor of the exclusive event.

FASTFACT

The Royal Commission for AlUla in cooperation with Saudi Polo Federation breaks new ground with the staging of the first desert polo tournament in the Kingdom.

“We are proud to be part of this significant event and to support the continuous development of polo in Saudi Arabia. The AlUla region provides the perfect natural stage to witness some of the greatest polo stars on the planet in action. We are really looking forward to the tournament and wish all its participants the best of luck” said Peter Harrison, CEO of Richard Mille EMEA.

For his part, Saudi Polo Federation Chairan Amr F. Zedan said: “Richard Mille has always had a strong connection with the world of sport and we are delighted to partner with such a prestigious brand as we continue to proactively promote this exciting and beautiful sport in the Kingdom.    


England cricket players donate, take pay cuts amid COVID-19 crisis

Updated 05 April 2020

England cricket players donate, take pay cuts amid COVID-19 crisis

  • The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said the season will not start before May 28
  • ECB’s centrally contracted women players to take a salary reduction for the months of April, May and June

LONDON: England’s centrally contracted male cricketers will donate £500,000 ($613,000) to the Board and charities while their women’s team counterparts have volunteered a three-month pay cut amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the players’ association (PCA) said.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said the season will not start before May 28 and speculation has been mounting over how their leading players would respond to the situation.

“Following a meeting today of all of the England men’s centrally contracted cricketers, the players have agreed to make an initial donation of £0.5 million to the ECB and to selected good causes ...” the Professional Cricketers’ Association said in a statement.

“This contribution is the equivalent of all of the England centrally contracted players taking a 20 percent reduction in their monthly retainers for the next three months.

“The players will continue to discuss with the ECB the challenging situation faced by the game and society as a whole and will consider how best to support the ECB and both the cricketing and wider community going forward.”

The ECB’s centrally contracted women players have volunteered to take a salary reduction for the months of April, May and June in line with their coaches and support staff.

England women’s captain Heather Knight said: “All the players felt like it was the right response in the current climate to take a pay cut in line with what our support staff are taking.

“We know how the current situation is affecting the game and we want to help as much as we can.

“We will be discussing with the ECB further ways we can help the game in the coming weeks,” added Knight, who has signed up with the National Health Service (NHS) as a volunteer.

The ECB has announced a 61 million pounds aid package to help the local game withstand the financial impact of the pandemic.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler is currently auctioning the shirt he wore in England’s 2019 World Cup final victory to raise funds for efforts to fight the coronavirus.