A Boost to Dubai Cricket

Dubai’s profile as a top cricket destination received a major boost with Emirates airline announcing the launch of The Seven’s cricket facility on Monday.

By Adur Pradeep

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Tue 2 Mar 2010, 12:49 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:36 AM

Leading international cricket players — Indian all-rounders Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan, Australian fast bowler Brett Lee and South Africa’s Yusuf Abdulla — were present when Gary Chapman, President, Emirates Group Services and Dnata, announced the opening of cricket pitches at a press conference held at the Players’ Club.

The players, also representing the Indian Premier League team Kings XI Punjab, sponsored by Emirates, tested the new pitch and were impressed with what they saw.

The stadium, located on the Dubai-Al Ain Road, will have six pitches — two with full grass outfields and four with an all-weather sabka surface.

The first pitch will be used when the Emirates team meet UK charity side Lord’s Taverners this weekend. The floodlit pitch will be opened during the inaugural Emirates Airline Twenty20 tournament to be held on March 19 and 20.

The opening of new pitches will be a boon for players in the emirate as they had limited options to play cricket after the Dubai Cricket Council’s two turf grounds were evicted for construction purposes four years ago. “Once complete, six pitches will be available for use,” Chapman said.

After testing the pitch, Lee bowled the first ball as Yuvraj smashed a perfect shot, as the duo ensured a grand opening for a memorable moment.

Yuraj said: “I know how popular the game is here so to bat the first ball on a wicket that will be at the centre of Dubai cricket for years to come is very special. The pitch looks great and I have no doubt it will host many thrilling matches.”

The construction of pitches is being coordinated by the DCC, which has enlisted the services of Rathey Shyam, a leading curator and a member of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Chapman explained the rapid progress made by the venue in recent times. “In less than two years the venue has grown to cater for a diverse range of sporting interests, from rugby to football, basketball, gaelic football, hurling, netball, tennis and Australian Rules Football, becoming a key part of the sporting community in the process.

“It is a great pleasure to have Yuvraj, Brett, Irfan and Yusuf, as well as Kings XI Punjab CEO Anil Srivatsa, here to help us celebrate the latest stage in the development of The Sevens.

The Emirates Airline Twenty20 tournament will see the introduction of Twenty20 stars like Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, who will play for Fly Emirates.

South Africa’s Cape Cobras, English county sides Sussex and Surrey are also participating in the tournament. Monty Panesar, Luke Wright, Ed Joyce, James Kirtley and Mark Ramprakash are some of the star attractions for the tournament.


More news from