The Dubai Cricket Council (DCC) has given the green light for a new cricket tournament which will test the best of teams during a span of two and half months in a new league format.
Fifteen club and corporate sides will vie for honours in the inaugural Piri Piri Twenty20 Turf Cricket League which is being conducted by Aneel Sabir under the auspices and guidance of the DCC and supported by Neeraj, an affluent local businessman owning Wings Group.
The winter league which began on Saturday and will run until December 17 will be held at The Sevens cricket ground from 8am to 5pm. The 15 teams are split into Division A, B and C and each team plays four guaranteed games and wins various points (including bonus points) during games.
The winner of each division and the best overall runner up (most points) from the entire league progress to a semifinal and final.
Mohamed Lokhandwala, Honorary Secretary of DCC, speaking at the launch of the league briefed the participating teams on the new regulations enforced by the International Cricket Council from October 1.
“We have finalised the Common Playing Conditions for the T20 tournaments which have been adapted by the Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman Council and which incorporate the changes in the playing conditions which have come into force from 1st October, 2011 for international games. DCC will provide qualified umpires and monitor and support the tournament which has been approved by us. We wish all the participating teams the best in this tournament which see teams of equal strength playing against each other in three different groups,” he said.
“I congratulate Aneel Sabir who has been quite persistent with his doing of cricket and has conducted one tournament. We are backing him this year and supporting him fully. We want to make sure your’ll have a tournament which is better than last one, get better mileage and better playing conditions,” he added at the press conference.
Dubai-based British expat Sabir who has played most of his cricket in the UK wanted to start some form of league which has longevity.
“Having played for the Royal County of Berkshire and the prestigious private boarding school Wellington College in Berkshire in UK, I loved the way cricket leagues were run in the UK with a different style of points accumulation system from each game and sorely missed this format and thus thought of introducing this here in Dubai,” he said thanking Lokhandwala and the Executive Committee members for giving their approval.
“I wasn’t able to find a league that I could play in myself. Actually it is not financially motivated. It is the sheer passion of playing cricket. I wanted to see consistency in cricket and association to a particular league not a tournament,” he added.
The league includes some of the most well-known teams in UAE cricket such as: Yogi Group led by Shiva Pagarani, Wings Group, Interface Transworld, CarFare, Crayford Hawks, Nucaf Tellicherry, Loose Cannons, HSBC, Standard Chartered, BTB Veterans, Dubai Rangers, Serco Middle East, Asia X1, National Bank of Fujairah and Jadaf CC.
Furthermore the entire league is managed fully online and so fixtures, results, stats, updates and reports are all available on the following website –www.pitchero.com/clubs/piripiricricketleaguedubai