UAE to host Ninety-90 Bash cricket league next year

Team KT/Dubai
Filed on June 25, 2021
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Khalid Al Zarooni, Aref Al Awani, Abdul Rehman Bukhatir, Salman Iqbal and Khalaf Bukhatir at the signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi. – Supplied photo

Bukhatir, who famously brought international cricket to Sharjah in the early 1980s, was delighted to be associated with the format

The Ninety-90 Bash, an exciting 90-ball-an-innings annual cricket league, will be held in Sharjah – the home of international cricket in the Middle East

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Chairman of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), sanctioned the event at signing ceremony held in Abu Dhabi.

Along with Sheikh Nahyan, the signing ceremony was attended by Khalid Al Zarooni, ECB vice chairman, Abdul Rehman Bukhatir, chairman of the Bukhatir Group, Salman Iqbal, founder and president of ARY Digital Network and owner of the Pakistan Super League’s Karachi Kings team, Khalaf Bukhatir and Aref Al Awani, general secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council.

In partnership with the Sharjah-based Century Events and Sports FZC, the ECB is launching the exciting 90-ball format.

The inaugural tournament is scheduled for 2022.

The Ninety-90 Bash is the collective brainchild of three leading regional entrepreneurs -- Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, Salman Iqbal and Imran Chaudhry, managing director of the Cinergie Group of companies.

Bukhatir, who famously brought international cricket to Sharjah in the early 1980s, was delighted to be associated with the format.

“I have been a part of cricket’s journey here in the United Arab Emirates from the very beginning, and it is my endeavor to continue to give cricket a home here in the Emirates, while finding ways in which to grow the game and keep it healthy,” Bukhatir said.

“This new exciting format could be instrumental in creating a brand new fan base for the sport, not just in the UAE, but across the globe.”

Meanwhile, Salman Iqbal, one of the region’s most successful entrepreneurs, believes Ninety-90 cricket is just what the game needs.

“The sport has evolved over the years and the time has come for cricket to take another leap of faith. We believe we have something brand new to offer and the entire team expects the tournament to be a grand success,” Iqbal said.

And Imran Chaudhry said the newest short format of the game would retain the importance of skills.

“The proposed Ninety-90 format will be shorter than Twenty20 cricket, with the aim of making every contest sharp, edgy and action-packed, while retaining the importance of cricket skills at the core of its success.” Chaudhry said.

Khalid Al Zarooni is also looking forward to the new tournament.

“We are very proud to sign this deal. And look forward to an annual tournament that is entertaining,” Al Zarooni said.

Preparations for the Ninety-90 Bash are in full swing. Several well-known global business houses and cricketing icons, players are set to sign on for the event.

This new format will bring together a heady mix of iconic cricketing stars and emerging players to be a part of this 90-ball-an-innings tournament, offering local cricket fans in the UAE a tournament full of thrilling matches.

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