Monday, Jun 20, 2016
Ramadan cricket tournaments are in full swing all over the UAE. Most domestic cricketers are busy playing throughout the night. The intense contests in these tournaments personifies the passion for the game among cricketers and promoters of the game here in the UAE.
Like a ritual, every council makes it a point to host a Ramadan tournament. Sharjah Cricket Council’s Ramadan tournament is now 27 years old, Abu Dhabi and Ajman councils, as well as Umm Al Quwain despite not a council, are also hosting Ramadan night tournaments. In this context, it is a shame that the Dubai Cricket Council failed to stage one. If not for Dulsco, who is staging their 15th edition, Dubai would not have had a Ramadan tournament!
The Dubai Cricket Council has been reeling under the absence of its own cricket ground for years. Despite repeated promises from this council’s officials, the reality is that it still remains a promise.
The passion for the game among cricketers and clubs in Dubai is such that they drive all the way to far off Umm Al Quwain or Al Dhaid to play. At times, it is nearly dawn when they get back home, but their joy and excitement of having played intense cricket keeps them going. So intense are these battles that recently one match in Ajman and another one in Al Dhaid ended in a tie!
It is vital that companies such as Dulsco that stage Ramadan tournaments are appreciated. They were responsible for converting the Zabeel Park ground into a popular cricket venue to conduct their tournaments. Companies such as Interface, Danube, Seven Seas, Consolidated Shipping Services and Mulk Holdings have sponsored Ramadan tournaments over the years and brought to light many talented players.
Ramadan tournaments in the UAE are also special because despite the heat, cricketers here do not refrain from playing. Usually the cricket season here ends before June due to the extreme summer heat, but Ramadan has extended this year’s season. And given that there is no rainy season unlike most Test playing nations, the UAE is probably the only country where cricket is played all 365 days and all tournaments are completed without a break. Cricketers who have played in Mumbai’s famous Kanga League can describe how tough it was for them to play this tournament in the rains.
The encouraging factor now is the emergence of new teams in this year’s Ramadan tournaments. Teams such as Dubai Hawks, Bukhatir XI and Red Flowers are recording impressive victories. Cricket academies too have decided to play in these Ramadan tournaments.
Tournaments are the soul of any cricketing nation, and hence they must be encouraged. The Emirates Cricket Board’s Domestic Cricket Development Committee (DCDC) must ensure that at least all councils here compulsorily stage Ramadan tournaments. For cricketers here it is a tradition to play in Ramadan tournaments, and all councils must contribute to maintain that tradition.
K.R. Nayar Chief Cricket Writer
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