Hosts Danube crowned Premier League champions

Sport360 staff 07:06 14/10/2014
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Champions: Danube Lions.

Hosts Danube Lions were crowned Danube Premier League champions after thrashing Pacific Ventures by 56 runs.

The 16-overs-a-side final at InSportz Club in Dubai was attended by Pakistan players Mohammad Irfan, Asad Shafiq, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Umar Amin.

Winning the toss, Ventures recovered from a poor start to end with 37 runs. In reply, Ruwan and Kamal put on a 20-run partnership before Arif and Kisar piled more runs for Danube Lions in the latter stages of the innings as they posted 93 runs.

In the Shield Division, Sandpipers lost to Goodwill Cargo by a better head-to-head record, after both sides scored 77 in the final.

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ICC Academy and Azhar Mahmood to hold UAE training camp

Sport360 staff 17:01 13/10/2014
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Star attraction: Azhar Mahmood.

The ICC Academy and the Pakistan international Azhar Mahmood are coming together to stage a groundbreaking Twenty20-specific cricket camp later this month.

Azhar, one of the most sought-after short-form cricketers in the world, will stage the camp from 24 October to 1 November at the state-of-the-art facility at Dubai Sports City with the aim of honing players’ Twenty20 skills and thinking.

The camp, believed to be the first of its kind anywhere in the world, will be open to juniors, adults and corporates, with daytime and evening sessions meaning that it will suit any timing.

Azhar has played in Twenty20 competitions all over the world for more than a decade, and commenting on the announcement of the cricket camp at the ICC Academy, he said: “The advent of Twenty20 has brought with it new shots, many different variations with the ball and a whole new level of athleticism in the field.

“But while there are plenty of coaching courses that teach the basics of the game, there are none that I know about that will coach these new techniques and approaches.

“Our aim is to cover off this gap in learning with this new camp, the first of which will take place later this month. It is an exciting idea, I am delighted to have joined forces with the ICC Academy to put the project together and I cannot wait for us to get started.” 

ICC Academy Manager Will Kitchen said: “We are delighted to be teaming up with Azhar Mahmood for this innovative new camp and we are really excited about it.

“The ICC Academy prides itself on being a hub for elite cricket and a place where we look to take the game forward. Our use of soils from around the world to replicate pitch conditions from different countries is just one example of that, and by hosting this Twenty20-specific camp we believe we are once again at the forefront of an exciting new innovation.”

Azhar, who has played 21 Test matches and 143 One-Day Internationals for Pakistan and featured in three consecutive ICC Cricket World Cups, added that ahead of the start of the camp there would be a further major announcement.

“We have confirmed the presence of a special guest coach during the camp – one of the biggest names in the history of the game – and we will be announcing details of that guest in the near future so watch this space,” he said.

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Pad up for the trophy tour as Cricket World Cup comes to the UAE

Denzil Pinto 06:59 11/10/2014
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Finest hour: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni with the ICC World Cup trophy.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ricky Ponting and Imran Khan have all had their photographs taken with the World Cup, and even you can too when the trophy travels to different Emirates over the next six days.

The trophy will be on display today at 16:00 at Maxway Talent Cricket Academy (Al Nasr Sports Club, Dubai), tomorrow during the final ODI match between Pakistan and Australia, and on October 17 at Sharjah Cricket Academy at 17:30.

The trophy returned to Dubai on Wednesday evening, having left the ICC headquarters in July for its world tour. The prestigious trophy was received at the ICC Academy by the UAE national team coach Aaqib Javed, who lifted the trophy as a player when Pakistan won the 1992 World Cup.

The former fast-medium pace bowler claimed two wickets to help Pakistan beat England by 22 runs in that final at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

He spoke about receiving the trophy and wants to inspire the UAE when they play in next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, where they will clash with India, South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Ireland in Group B.

Javed said: “This trophy holds a special place in every cricketer’s heart. It is the biggest prize in international cricket. The UAE will be playing in the ICC Cricket World Cup for the first time since 1996 and we are confident of putting in a performance that will make our fans proud.”

And he has urged people in the UAE to take up the opportunity of getting their photograph taken with the trophy.

He added: “It’s a great honour for the people to have their photo taken with the trophy because this is the biggest trophy in cricket.

“It’s good to get associated with the sport and it will add a lot of interest and can inspire youngsters to take up the sport. There’s been a lot of positives for UAE cricket with the team qualifying for the 2014 World Twenty20 and 2015 World Cup. It is great to have the trophy here in a country that will be participating in the tournament next year.”

And Emirates Cricket Board chief David East echoed Javed’s view.

He said: “We are thrilled to welcome the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy to the UAE as part of its official worldwide tour and we are confident it will be warmly received and celebrated. As the UAE team embarks on their journey to the Cricket World Cup 2015, we look forward to seeing the people of the UAE rally behind and support it in its mission.”

What: World Cup Trophy Tour in the UAE
Where: Selected venues
When: Today (16:00 at Maxtalent Cricket Academy, Al Nasr Sports Club, Dubai), tomorrow (during the Pakistan v Australia ODI match at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi), and Friday, October 17 (17:30 at Sharjah Cricket Academy)
Contact: www.icc-cricket.com

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