Dubai: English league-style cricket for corporate teams has commenced in UAE under the auspices of the Dubai Cricket Council.
Known as the HSBC Corporate Night T20 Cricket League, season one is being organised by Aneel Sabir, President of the HSBC UAE Cricket Club, who staged a similar league at the International Cricket Council Global Cricket Academy grounds and Sevens Cricket Grounds in association with Boom Boom and UK cricket label ‘Piri Piri’ Cricket Bats.
Speaking to Gulf News, Sabir, an expatriate resident of Dubai from the UK and an Old Wellingtonian, said: “League-based cricket format takes place frequently in the UK, both at grassroots level and at club and county levels. My desire is to grow the league, run it all year round and to encourage Western expatriates in the UAE back into the game.”
The league will be held at Repton School, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai, with all games under floodlights and on a full-sized Astro-turf ground. “There will be two divisions, with five teams in each division in season one. Each of the teams plays one another in their respective division and will be awarded 10 points for a win, five for a draw and none for a loss.
The league is actually driven by a bonus-points system, so even the losing teams can win points. The bonus points are two for every 50 runs the team scores, two points for every two wickets the team takes, one point for a hat-trick and one point for six sixes in one over. The team with the most points win the league, with the bottom two teams being relegated. Games will take place every Saturday and Sunday from 6.30pm to 9.30pm until the end of April,” said Sabir.
In the inaugural match, Danube Lions beat Al Futtaim Carillion with bonus points.
The teams: Danube Lions, Agthia, Ibsons, Serco Middle East, Al Futtaim Carillion, Seven Seas Strikers, Mabani Steel, Solas Marine, HSBC A and HSBC B are competing for the title.