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Dubai to host Independence Day tournaments

Stage set for cricket spectacle on the second day of Eid

Gulf News

Dubai: To commemorate the Independence Day of India and Pakistan on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, Dubai will stage two traditional cricket tournaments that have been held for the last 24 years.

The stage has been set for the Pakistan Independence Day tournament on the second day of Eid at the Seven Seas Ground, while the Indian Independence Day event will be held on either September 6 or 13 due to the Ramadan holidays.

UAE senior umpire Tariq Butt has been staging the events since their inception with the backing of cricket enthusiast and businessman Freddy Sidhwa.

Speaking to Gulf News, Butt said: “I want to see these two tournaments reach the 25th year mark, which will happen next year. The response to play in these tournaments has always been excellent. It brings the Indians and Pakistanis in the UAE together.

“We have always got excellent sponsorship support for these two tournaments as may top companies step forward to back the event. The Pakistan Independence Day tournament is sponsored by Pakistan businessman Ateef Waheed of Golden Line company, while the Indian Independence Day event is supported by Indian businessman Deepak Arora of City Diamonds and Al Wahda Contracting. They provide the trophies for the winners and runners-up and special gifts for the top performers.”

Golden Line and Al Wahda Contracting also have teams competing in the tournament.

Butt, who stages the tournaments under the auspices of the Dubai Cricket Council, added: “We create a festival atmosphere during the tournament with refreshments so the day is remembered. I will be the happiest man if I can stage this event for the 25th year without a break. I will start preparation for the event early to make it very special next year.”