Dubai Cricket Council eyes a new home from a new home

Dubai Cricket Council eyes a new home from a new home

The governing body of the sport in the emirate may then have an HQ office from which to organise their cricketing affairs, yet a long-awaited playing abode is still proving stubbornly elusive.



By Alex Leach - Senior Reporter

Published: Sun 14 Jun 2015, 12:34 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:11 PM

Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, chairman of the Dubai Cricket Council, cuts the ribbon to mark the opening of the DCC office at Silcon Oassis in Dubai on Saturday. — KT photo by Mukesh Kamal

Dubai — Dubai Cricket Council (DCC) representatives cut the ribbon on their new administrative base at Silicon Oasis on Saturday afternoon in another positive development for the bat and ball game here.

The governing body of the sport in the emirate may then have an HQ office from which to organise their cricketing affairs, yet a long-awaited playing abode is still proving stubbornly elusive. It has been almost a decade since the playing fields in Al Jadaf were ultimately lost owing to Dubai’s ever-changing landscape and near-constant construction over the years. There is even a timely reminder of what exactly is missing on one of the walls of their latest premises, where a series of framed newspaper clippings, pictures and portraits now hang neatly.

Two such stories — entitled ‘Council to hunt for home’ and ‘Dubai cricket is at ground zero’ — make still pertinent reference to the lack of a permanent crease and pitch to genuinely call their own.

There was no remote attempt to hide that fact either, with DCC chairman Abdulrahman Falaknaz openly mentioning it in his initial address at yesterday’s media briefing. “This represents the turning of a corner for us,” explained Falaknaz to the assembled press reporters. “Dubai Cricket Council was one of the most active councils. We used to hold many competitions and at least 850 matches throughout the year.

“But, of course, we’re in Dubai and it’s a city that is growing day by day. We had our pitches all under one roof and — unfortunately, because of the town planning — we lost all of them in one go. In spite of that though, we’ve been quite active.”

Falaknaz went on to list a number of tournaments that the DCC currently stage, as if to exemplify just how ‘active’ they have been despite the obvious limitation of not having a venue upon which to play all for themselves.

However, it would appear that predicament may well be about to change, with Falaknaz revealing plans are afoot to build a new complex along the Dubai-Al Ain Road in the near future. “I’ve been in contact with the Director General of the Dubai Municipality and he’s looking for some places for us,” he added. “All of the land is being taken up very quickly because the Expo is coming to Dubai in 2020, so we’ve got to be careful and quick. Insha’Allah (God willing), I hope — within a month or two — there’ll be something coming up.”

Falaknaz speculated that — all being well — a ground could provisionally be built and fully operational by September 2016 and that would naturally be a welcome initiative as well for David East, the Emirates Cricket Board’s CEO. “It’s really a case of the more, the merrier,” East commented. “There’s such an intensity of activity here in Dubai in terms of the sheer number of people that play that there’s a paucity of quality grass facilities, so the more that can come on stream, the better. “To have a dedicated facility specifically for the DCC would be fantastic because it would mean that those tournaments, which are more cost sensitive, could actually be staged on their own venue.

“We want to make the sport available to as many people as possible and, if you can have a dedicated resource that’s linked to the council itself, it’s in the council’s gift to decide what the rates will be and how those facilities will be used. That just opens up a whole manner of possibilities in terms of the way that people can participate.”

alex@khaleejtimes.com


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