Biju Nair’s all-round display ensures DCC win over Dubai Mammoths

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The victorious DCC team.

A superb all-round performance from Biju Nair ensured DCC 40’s Club beat Dubai Mammoths by 29 runs in the Ramadan 25-over Forty’s cricket tournament at the Fairgrounds of the Dubai Men’s College on Sunday.

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This was DCC’s first win in three matches in the three-team tournament and was inspired by Nair’s ­69 runs with the bat and two wickets with the ball.

Dubai Mammoths, who began with back-to-back victories, have now lost their last two matches.

DCC were in desperate need of a win to stay in the tournament and after captain Vijay Mehra won the toss and decided to bat, the early wickets of openers Abbas Khan and Mukund made their task even greater.

However, Nair and Mehra managed to drag their team out of a precarious position as the former blasted four towering sixes and as many fours, while Vijay chipped in with 22 from 30 balls.

Their partnership was worth 66 before Mehra’s dismissal.

Nair was short of support from his teammates but his explosive innings, coming off just 46 balls, put his team in contention.

Number nine CTK Usman finally offered some resistance, turning the match on its head with some power hitting en route to an unbeaten 29 from 16 balls as DCC closed on 172-8.

The Mammoths got off on the wrong foot with opener Ranjeet Chauhan run out early on and were left playing catch up from there on. Afraz Shaikh (35), Rajesh Thadani (24), Javed Siddiqui (16), Prajakat Chauhan (15) and Lucky Abbas (15) contributed but their side failed to threaten the DCC total. 

Brief scores:
DCC 40’s Club beat Dubai Mammoths by 29 runs

DCC: 172 for 8 in 25 overs – (Biju Nair 69, CTK Usman 29 n.o., Vijay Mehra 22; Indika Batu 4/22, Rizwan Hashmi 2/37, Asad Badani 2/28)
Dubai Mammoths: 143 for 8 in 25 overs – (Afraz Shaikh 35, Rajesh Thadani 24 n.o.; Biju Nair 2/22)
Man of the match: Biju Nair

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ICC Academy and GEMS Sports Academy agree new partnership

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The indoor lanes at ICC Academy.

Dubai’s ICC Academy and GEMS Sports Academy have agreed a partnership that will combine the two facilities in a bid to develop cricket in the UAE.

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The ICC Academy at Dubai Sports City plans to be able to deliver a unique and comprehensive programme to budding cricketers in the country, tapping into GEMS’ pool of students in the process. 

Their partnership sees the creation of the Professional Cricket Programme, which will be open to students across the UAE and will be led by ICC Academy coaches over a two-year period, beginning in September. 

General Manager of Sport and Events Business at Dubai Sports City, Maqbul Dudhia described the new partnership as a “milestone in producing cricketing talent for the future” and hailed the passion of the sport right across the UAE. 

“It’s an incredible sight to see the thousands of fans fill the International Cricket Stadium during a test match,” said Dudhia.

“You can see in the eyes of many of the children and teenagers watching on that they would love to be on that crease playing the sport they love.

“We now have a very structured and varied program with the help of GEMS Sports Academy where we can harness that love of the game and enable those passionate younger people to have a go themselves."

The ICC Academy sees this program as vital to the development of youth in the UAE and is full of enthusiasm ahead of the programme’s start.

“There is no doubting cricket is a huge part of life in the UAE,” said ICC Academy Manager, Will Kitchen.

“What we want to do, and in partnership with the excellent program and procedures set up by GEMS Sports Academy is prepare the younger generation for a fully-fledged career in this wonderful game.

“We at the ICC Academy at Dubai Sports City have the resources, the infrastructure and the experience whilst GEMS Sport Academy bring the passionate kids and structured learning patterns.”

GEMS Sports Academy has already experienced a number of success stories with past students going onto soccer scholarships in the USA and rugby players progressing to the UAE U19 set-up and now for GEMS Sports Academy’s Director of Sport, James Tucker, cricket is the obvious next step.

“Our aim with this two-year Professional Cricket Program is that we spread the reach of the sport, we’re aiming for much wider participation,” said Tucker.

“There are not many opportunities in the world where you can be taught the inner workings of being a professional sportsman or woman whilst still studying but that is what we aim to do.

“Being trained like a professional playing a sport you love is the recipe of success and we’re delighted to be able to team up with the ICC Academy at Dubai Sports City on this exciting partnership."

Students from all across the UAE can enquire further about the GEMS Sports Academy and ICC Academy Professional Cricket Program by visiting, www.gemssportsacademy.com.

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UAE face Ireland in World T20 qualifiers warm-up clash

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The UAE will look to fine-tune their preparations for this week’s ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers when they face familiar foes Ireland in a warm-up game on Monday.

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It will be the first official T20 game for the UAE having played practice matches against Jersey Men’s XI and Kenya. They won those encounters by eight wickets and 100 run respectively, and will be looking to extend that run against the strong Irish team ahead of their opener against Scotland, scheduled for Thursday.

UAE coach Aaqib Javed has named an experienced squad led by Mohammad Tauqir with new boys batsman Abdul Shakoor and allrounder Umair Ali also included.

Tauqir’s side will know Ireland fairly well having met them twice last year. At the 2014 World Twenty20, the UAE suffered a 21-run defeat on Duckworth-Lewis, while Ireland claimed a thrilling two-wicket victory at this year’s ICC Cricket World Cup in Brisbane.

Despite the retirements of Ed Joyce and Tim Murtagh, Ireland coach John Bracewell has selected a squad with a blend of youth and experience, with veterans Kevin and Niall O’Brien as well as uncapped Tyrone Kane all named.

UAE Squad: Mohammad Tauqir (captain), Fayyaz Ahmed, Amjad Ali, Saqib Ali, Umair Ali, Shaiman Anwar, Faizan Asif, Nasir Aziz, Manjula Guruge, Amjad Javed, Muhammad Naveed, Swapnil Patil, Ahmed Raza, Muhammad Shahzad, Abdul Shakoor

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