Dubai: Willows Cricket Club, one of the oldest clubs in Trivandrum, along with Hit 96.7 FM will stage the Kerala Cricket League (KCL) from December 6 to 31 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
S.K. Nair, former secretary and treasurer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), in the presence of Rajesh Pillai of Willows Club and Mazhar Khan and Ali Anwar of Sharjah Cricket Council, launched the event at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Dubai Media City yesterday.
Nair, who is the head of the advisory panel of the KCL, said: “This tournament will redefine local cricketing talent and it is a matter of pride that several leading private sector entities have stepped forward to support this grand initiative.”
The winners of the 16-team competition will pocket Dh60,000 and a gold cup, while the runners-up get Dh30,000 and a silver cup.
Pillai said: “We are very particular that players from Kerala get the maximum exposure and hence it is mandatory that 11 players out of the 15 in each squad have to be from Kerala. That means in the playing 11, at least seven will be from Kerala.”
Mazhar Khan, secretary of Sharjah Cricket Council, under whose auspices the tournament will be played, said he is keen to spot as many new players as possible.
“With the UAE getting ready to host and participate in the Under-19 World Cup, we need to unearth more talent. KCL will help us to find many talents.”
Ali Anwar Jafri, the joint secretary of Sharjah Cricket Council, will oversee the technical aspects of the tournament. All matches will be held under floodlights from 6pm.
Meanwhile, Anil Kumar of Willows revealed: “We have plans to usher in a number of celebrities from the cricket and film fields. We will soon announce the line-up of celebrities who will take part in the tournament.”
Players interested in taking part in the tournament should contact Anil Kumar on 050 8293375 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 16 teams representing Kerala’s different districts have been named as Malappuram Sultans, Cochin Cannons, Calicut Challengers, Idukki Icons, Kasargod Super Stars, Alleppey Amigos, Thrissur Tigers, Trivandrum Titans, Kannur Royals, Kollam Knight Riders, Pathanamthitta Panthers, Palakkad Patriots, Wayanad Warriors, Kottayam Kings, City Cricketers and Malabar Eleven.