Dubai: The cricket fraternity in the UAE has lauded the appearance of a page on the UAE scene as a chapter in the Wisden India Almanack 2013 edition.
Known as the ‘Bible of Cricket’, Wisden Almanack is arguably the world’s most famous sports reference book and, with the release of the new Indian edition, it is expected to reach out to more cricket fans in the sub-continent.
The Almanack, published annually, is an anthology of articles on activities of the top nations, profiles of outstanding cricketers and statistics. Gulf News Chief Cricket Writer K.R. Nayar was chosen by Wisden to write the chapter on cricket in the UAE.
“It’s a great honour for UAE cricket to have its activities appearing in Wisden alongside top cricket-playing nations,” said Dilawar Mani of the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council (ADCC), who is also a former chief executive officer of the Emirates Cricket Board. “We at the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council are happy that we have contributed immensely in not only staging international matches but also hosting domestic tournaments and producing talent.”
“All these have been possible due to the support of Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, who is the chairman of the Emirates Cricket Board and Abu Dhabi Cricket Council.”
Among the achievements mentioned in the chapter are the UAE’s spectacular wins over Scotland and Kenya in ICC tournaments and the under-16 team finishing as runners-up in the Asian Cricket Council Challenge Cup in Thailand, which earned them promotion to the Elite Cup.
Mazhar Khan, administrator of the Emirates Cricket Board and secretary of Sharjah Cricket Council, said: “UAE cricket appearing in a reputed book like the Almanack is truly a remarkable achievement. With nations like Pakistan and Afghanistan using our stadia to stage international matches and associate and affiliate nations playing here regularly, the UAE has become a top cricketing centre.
“The standard of cricket in the UAE has improved with increasing number of tournaments. Thanks to K.R. Nayar for his commitment in highlighting UAE cricket activities and writing a chapter on this nation’s devotion to the game.”
Mohammad Lokhandwala, the secretary of the Dubai Cricket Council, added: “UAE cricket activities and achievements to be mentioned in a book referred to by one and all is a big honour. We appreciate the efforts of Nayar in highlighting UAE cricket activities in this book. It also shows the growing stature of the UAE and we at the council are happy to have contributed to its reputation.”
Shaji Ul Mulk, secretary of the Ajman Cricket Council, said: “The UAE appearing in Wisden is a huge international honour. Ajman Council, by staging over 1,000 matches last season, has played its part. It is creditable that the UAE’s activities will be read through this book.”
UAE batsman Saqib Ali, whose selection to the ICC associate and affiliate team to play against England also got a mention in the book, said: “To appear in Wisden as part of the UAE is a special feeling.”