The eyes of the cricketing world will be fixed on the UAE from 15 to 28 September as Dubai and Abu Dhabi prepare to host the 2018 Asia Cup.
Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is hosting the Asia Cup on behalf of the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) and Dubai International Stadium and Zayed Cricket Stadium will be staging the matches.
Tickets for the showpiece event, which are priced from Dh20 to Dh750, will be available via the online booking site Platinumlist and at retail outlets across the UAE from Monday 20 August. Cricket fans can also buy season tickets for both the venues at attractive prices.
In Group A, India, the defending champions, will face Pakistan with both teams also facing the winner of the qualifier which will be held in Malaysia at the end of the month. The UAE are one of six teams vying for the lone automatic spots.
In Group B Sri Lanka will play Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The games will be played over a 50 over format starting from 3.30pm onwards.
The teams will start arriving in the UAE from 10th September. The first game will see Bangladesh take on Sri Lanka in front of what is sure to be a full-house at Dubai International Stadium.
All of the teams taking partcan expect huge support from fans who have flown in especially for the tournament as well as residents who live in the UAE, with a party atmosphere guaranteed in the stands.
Khalid Al Zarooni, Vice Chairman, Emirates Cricket Board said, “We are proud to host the 2018 Asia Cup in the UAE, which promises to be a thrilling festival of cricket with some of the world’s best players battling it out on the field.
“The game of cricket is hugely popular here in the UAE, and we are sure there will be a fantastic atmosphere in the stands as well as great entertainment on the field throughout the tournament.”
Hospitality packages for VIP and corporate suites can be purchased directly from Dubai Sports City and Abu Dhabi Cricket. Those interested can email [email protected] or [email protected] to find out more about hospitality prices and packages.
What: Asia Cup tickets
Where: Dubai and Abu Dhabi
When: September 15 to 28
Contact: Tickets can be bought online at www.platinumlist.net
It’s Just Football (IJF) are launching their new goalkeeping academy next month where budding youngsters can train just like the professionals in Dubai.
Under the supervision of Ben Smith, a former goalkeeper for Newcastle United, Leeds and Middlesbrough, the UAE’s stars of tomorrow will be given an opportunity to learn the basics, fine-tune their techniques and improve their match performance.
Registration numbers has already been impressive but IJF are keen to attract more ahead of the new term. They are holding free try-out sessions during the week from September 9 at Dubai College and Nad Al Sheba and are inviting boys and girls between 6 and 16 years to attend.
“This is a brand new venture for us and it’s something that I am looking forward to,” said Smith, head of goalkeeping at IJF.
“During the term, children will learn the basics of goalkeeping, handling, footwork and shot stopping. What I have noticed here in the UAE is that the distribution isn’t really focused on.
“As a goalkeeper, you just have to be as good with your feet as well as the hands. I’ve noticed the goalkeepers out here need a lot of work on that and we will be focusing on that. There’s no point in keeping the ball out of the net but then give the ball away to the other. I’m looking to develop some goalkeepers and hopefully one or two can go abroad and play professional football.”
With Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi among the global icons of football today, Smith admits there is a challenge to change the mindset that goalkeepers can also be superstars. And it’s one that he is relishing in the UAE.
“I think if you look from the Champions League final where Loris Karius’ mistakes cost Liverpool against Real Madrid, it shows that people are talking about how important a goalkeeper is,” added Smith.
“That is now filtering through to grassroots level and is a crucial position if you want to win stuff. For example, France had a world-class goalkeeper when they won the World Cup. Maybe that wasn’t the case 10 years ago but now a lot of people are realising that goalkeepers are integral to winning matches and titles.
“This is something that we want to address at IJF because it’s becoming a key role for clubs across the world and we want to teach children that.”
While goalkeepers of other academies are eligible to join IJF, Smith plans to tap into his contacts book and send a group to the UK to develop their skills in the future.
“In April, we will be planning on taking some of the kids to the north-east of England and watch the Newcastle United goalkeepers train as part of their development,” added Smith. “We’ll do the same at Middlesbrough as it’s important for them to keep learning and see what is needed to succeed.”
What: IJF Goalkeeping Academy
Where: Dubai College and Nad Al Sheba
When: From September 9
Contact: Visit www.itsjustfootball.com
With Eid Al Adha just around the corner, Yas Marina Circuit has introduced fantastic offers to take your Eid fun up a gear.
All through the Eid holidays, family, friends and supercar fanatics alike can enjoy a range of experiences and take advantage of special offers.
Whether it’s testing yourself in a race-prepped Aston Martin GT4, or Mercedes-AMG GTS, Jaguar F-type S Coupe or Formula Yas 3000 on the Grand Prix Circuit or laying down some rubber on its custom-built drag strip in a Chevrolet Camaro; you are guaranteed to have a weekend you won’t forget.
Yas Marina Circuit will be running special promotions at Yas Mall and those that purchase any F1 ticket product at the YMC’s Yas Mall stand will receive a behind the scenes tour of the F1 circuit.
For those that purchase select DriveYAS experiences will receive a free Drift Taxi experience or have the chance to spin the Yas prize wheel for an opportunity to win gifts including Mercedes AMG GTS, Chevrolet Camaro Drag Racing, merchandise and more.
The Yas Marina Circuit’s Yas Mall stand is located on the 1st floor near the food court.
Experiences included in the offer:
A variety of driving experiences are available at the home of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a fantastic 25 per cent discount to take advantage of. Drivers can live out their racing dreams in an Aston Martin GT4, a Mercedes-AMG GTS, Jaguar F-type S Coupe or Formula Yas 3000 and experience the thrill of Yas Marina Circuit – all supported by expert instructors. The discount is not available for the Ferrari 458 GT experience with offers valid until August 31.
Chevy Camaro Special
An opportunity to race into summer with an awesome 50 per cent off all Yas Marina Circuit’s Chevrolet Camaro Drag Experiences. Those who sign up, will pay a discounted rate of Dh325 and be able to get test their limits in a Chevrolet Camaro under the expert eye of one of Yas Marina Circuit’s drag racing instructors and fly down the purpose-built drag racing strip.
What: Eid offers
Where: Yas Marina Circuit
When: Until August 31
Contact: For more information, visit www.yasmarinacircuit.com