Dubai: Danube, who rule indoor cricket in the local circuit, launched an outdoor team with much fanfare at the Grand Hyatt on Tuesday night.
Legendary opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar officially launched the team in the presence of Anis Sajan, Managing Director of the Daunbe Group, who had transformed the indoor squad into an invincible team in indoor cricket. “We want to do the same in outdoor cricket too and emerge as the best in domestic tournaments,” remarked Sajan, who has roped in some of the finest talents in the UAE for the team to be known as Danube Lions.
Gavaskar, also the brand ambassador of Danube, asked the players to “strive to be the No. 1 team not only in performance but also in behaviour on and off the field,” after presenting the players with team caps.
The function was attended by the Emirates Cricket Council officials and cricket council members from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman. Afghanistan’s cricket coach Kabir Khan and the UAE national team coach Aaqib Javed also attended the function along with ambassadors of Indian, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Sajan announced that Danube, one of the leading construction and building materials companies in the UAE, will also launch the Diplomats Cup, a tournament for all the foreign embassies in the UAE.
The outdoor team will be made up of Naemuddin, Prashant Braggs, Bakhtiyar, Vikrant Shetty, CTK Mashood, Sameer Nayak, Haroon Iftikhar, Syed Maqsood, Devendra Taneja, Mohammad Asif Iqbal, Shibith, Ahmed Raza, Samiullah, Haaris Khan and Andre Ajmal. Thompson, popular among players as ‘Uncle’ for his efforts in motivating teams like Arab Udupi and Kannur in Kerala Premier League, has been appointed as the manager of the team with Raja Anand as technical advisor.
“The objective is to connect every cricket connoisseur and professional directly or indirectly with the game. The idea is to discover and nurture the young talents and also instil the right spirit to help the young players lead a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, cricket facilities in the UAE are truly world-class and I am confident that the outdoor team will see sporting excellence in the years to come,” said Gavaskar.