DBMSC Steel Kings fought for victory against Al Jaber Blazers to be crowned Sprite Cricket Stars Champions 2014 in front of more than 15,000 cheering fans at the Sheikh Zayed International Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Sprite’s partner, the NGO SmartLife Foundation also named DULSCO as victor to their cricket tournament ‘Smart Cup’ at the daylong event, as they beat Al-Ghurair by 7 wickets. Despite Al-Ghurair scoring 59 runs for eight wickets in 10 overs, DULSCO came back and scored 60 runs for three wickets in six overs.
The winning teams were presented with the Sprite Cricket Stars Trophy and runners-up prize by former Pakistan international cricketer Shoaib Akhtar, who has been an ambassador for the tournament for the past two years. DBMSC Steel Kings received Dh50,000 prize money and Al Jaber Blazers Dh25,000.
As a mark of respect for the tragic passing of Phillip Hughes, Shoaib Akhtar led the teams and the packed stadium in holding a minute’s silence.
Speaking about the tournament, Shoaib Akhtar said: “The standard of cricket at this year’s event was phenomenal, and not just from the teams competing as I saw first-hand when I was bowling against members of the crowd. The atmosphere at the stadium was fantastic and it was truly humbling to be able to pay tribute to my fellow cricketers Philip Hughes and Sean Abbott with such a large audience. Congratulations to DBMSC Steel Kings for their deserved victory, I hope to see them defending their title next year.”
Over 225 players participated in Sprite Cricket Stars in 2014, as competitive play-off matches were held over the past 6 months, mostly at the home of Sprite Cricket Stars, Sprite INSPORTZ.
Cricket teams are being invited to take part in the newly-launched Corporate Premier League T20 competition where a total of Dh30,000 of prize money is up for grabs.
Matches will be played at the newly-built turf wicket Ajman Oval, and the competition – backed by Ajman Cricket Council – will be held from January 29 to February 20, 2015.
Open to 16 teams across the UAE, the event is designed to give players the platform to play cricket of the highest standard.
The competition is organised by Web Channel, who have successfully hosted two editions of Superstars T20, which has previously attracted the top UAE, Pakistan and Afghanistan players. And organises assure this one promises to be even better.
“We want to give a new platform for corporate cricketers to play the game on a very good turf wicket ground,” said Rahul Dalwale, Web Channel manager.
“Some corporate sides don’t get the chance to play on turf wickets so we are presenting this opportunity to them. We want to help them gain experience by playing under the floodlights, play with a white ball and give them this chance.
“All in all, we want the cricketers to feel they are playing like a professional for what will be a very organised tournament.”
It will be the first time the Ajman Oval will host a tournament and Dalwale believes it’s the perfect venue.
He said: “I’ve visited the Ajman Oval myself and I can say it is as good as any that you would find in Dubai, Sharjah or Abu Dhabi. The pavilion, wickets, the nets are very good quality and that was why we wanted to explore this venue.
“I’m sure cricketers and spectators will be amazed with what they see because it’s of the highest quality and is a first-class venue.”
Attractive prize money is on offer throughout the tournament. While the winning team will receive Dh15,000, the runners-up will be rewarded with Dh10,000 for their efforts. And a total of Dh5,000 will be distributed for best individual displays in the three-week tournament.
And Dalwale insists it’s an opp-ortunity not to be missed. He adds: “As a corporate initiative, it’s a chance to enjoy playing one of the most popular games in the UAE in a competitive environment. It will be a fun and organised competition at a fantastic venue.”
Entries cost Dh12,500 per team.
What: Corporate Premier League T20
Where: Ajman Oval Ground
When: January 29 to February 15, 2015
Contact: For registration/information, email [email protected] or call Rahul on 050 579 3586
English wicketkeeper Matt Prior has been in Dubai to promote his new Cycling team One Pro Cycling.