The Unimoni Asia Cup Trophy unveiled by Shaikh Nahyan in the presence of Khalid Al Zarouni, Prabhakaran Thanraj, Dr. B.R. Shetty and Mubashshir Usmani in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Courtesy: ACC

Dubai: The Unimoni Asia Cup tournament Trophy has arrived in UAE. The historic trophy was unveiled by Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, and Emirates Cricket Board Chairman, through a short ceremony in Abu Dhabi.

The top officials of the tournament attended the ceremony including: Khalid Al Zarouni, the Emirates Cricket Board Vice-Chairman; Mubashshir Usmani, the General Secretary, Emirates Cricket Board; Prabhakaran Thanraj, Marketing Manager, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) (who attended on behalf of both the BCCI and The Asian Cricket Council); Dr. B.R. Shetty, Finablr Founder and Chairman; Vijay Sajjanhar, Dubai Sports City Chief Financial Officer; Mathew Boucher, Abu Dhabi Cricket Club Acting CEO.

This tournament had began in the UAE in 1984 when Sharjah Cricket Stadium hosted the first event and it is now ready to host its 14th edition. It will be the third time the UAE will be hosting this tournament. This glittering trophy has been lifted by India six times, followed by Sri Lanka, who have won it five times, and Pakistan, who have emerged as champions twice.

The cricketer who lifted the trophy for the first time was former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar when India beat Sri Lanka in the 1984 final. The BCCI, who are the hosts of the tournament, had picked the UAE to host the event. Extending the appreciation of the Indian cricket board to Emirates Cricket Board on staging the event, BCCI Chief Executive Officer Rahul Johri, said: “I would like to extend my gratitude to Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, for his continuous support. Holding the Unimoni Asia Cup 2018 in UAE gives us the opportunity to follow through on our promise to strengthen the passion for cricket not just locally but on the global stage and in emerging markets.”

Unimoni stepped forward to be the title sponsor. Commenting on the association with Unimoni Asia Cup 2018, Finablr Founder and Chairman, Dr. B.R. Shetty, who had often backed domestic cricket in the UAE by sponsoring many events, said: “It is a matter of great pride for Finablr that Unimoni and UAE Exchange are associated with Asia Cup 2018. As a group, we have always believed in connecting with our customers on the things they love, and cricket is loved by billions of people across the globe.”

UAE had played a big role in supporting the Asian Cricket Council and their office was even located here in the 1980s. Thusith Perera, the Asian Cricket Council General Manager, acknowledged UAE’s contribution to Asia Cup history. “The United Arab Emirates has been an intrinsic part of cricket history, and we are delighted at the opportunity of holding The Unimoni Asia Cup 2018 across the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The Asian Cricket Council is committed to promoting the growth of cricket in the region, through not only the popularity of its strongest teams, but also by supporting the rise of associate members through their interactions with full members.”

This edition of the Asia Cup will take place from September 15 to 28 with a total of 13 games being played in both Dubai International Stadium, Dubai and Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi. “In this edition we bring with us a high-quality line-up of teams vying for the chance to be crowned Champions of Asia, we also hope to leave an indelible mark in the minds of local sports fans, by making the Unimoni Asia Cup 2018 — the biggest Asian face-off in the tournament’s history,” added Perera.