Competitive cricket back in UAE after five-month break

UAE captain Ahmed Raza will represent the ECB Blues team in the D10 (Domestic T10) tournament. (Photo by Shihab)
UAE captain Ahmed Raza will represent the ECB Blues team in the D10 (Domestic T10) tournament. (Photo by Shihab)

Dubai - The new domestic tournament will feature six teams and mark the return of competitive cricket in the country following the Covid-19-enforced break



By Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Thu 23 Jul 2020, 11:31 PM

Last updated: Fri 24 Jul 2020, 6:50 PM

The UAE's top cricketers can't wait to get back on the field as the D10 (Domestic T10) tournament gets underway in Dubai on Friday.
The new domestic tournament - organised by the Emirates Cricket Board - will feature six teams and mark the return of competitive cricket in the country following the Covid-19-enforced break.
The six teams that will be vying for the honours in the behind-closed-doors event are Team Abu Dhabi, Ajman Alubond, Dubai Pulse Secure, Sharjah Bukhatir XI, Fujairah Pacific Ventures and the ECB Blues.
And the UAE captain Ahmed Raza, who will represent the ECB Blues team in the tournament, is excited to be playing cricket again after a long break due to the pandemic.

"It's been close to five months now that we haven't played cricket. It's the longest layoff we have had," Raza told Khaleej Times on Thursday.
"Everyone is very excited. Yes, we have started training, but playing a match is a totally different ball game. It will be interesting to see how we go about it and I hope it doesn't take long to get into the groove. When there is a match situation obviously, there is pressure. It comes naturally to you, it's not going to take long. I am just being very positive about it."
But Raza admits players need to be cautious after coming back from a long break amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Definitely. We have to be mindful of all the regulations. We are coming back to competition. Hopefully this is going to be a very successful tournament. This will be a first step towards more domestic tournaments and gives us an opportunity to host another country as well, who knows. The success of this tournament can open so many other doors as well.
"It's such a huge positive. It's going to be live streamed. You don't know which crowd is watching so you have to be on your A game. We are going to enjoy it. Can't wait for tomorrow."

Chirag Suri is excited about playing cricket again after a long break
Meanwhile, Chirag Suri, the UAE opening batsman, says T10 is the right format now considering the weather conditions.
"The T10 is the best option right now, looking at the weather. But obviously I think it's a very popular format and we guys can go out there and express ourselves. I think in terms of just having cricket around, that's the best thing right now. Just really happy to be back on the field," Suri told Khaleej Times.
"It's an amazing opportunity not only for us, but all the talent that is out there in the UAE to have a tournament of our own, especially after the Cocid-19 restrictions. People were just waiting to get back on the field. We really missed cricket, we are happy to be back now."
The ECB have put all the strict health protocols in place for the tournament.
And Suri says the players will follow the guidelines while acknowledging that the ECB could not have picked a better format for the tournament.   
"The T10 is the best option right now, especially looking at the weather," he said.
"But obviously I think it's a very popular format and we guys can go out there and express ourselves. I think in terms of just having cricket around, that's the best thing right now. Just really happy to be back on the field."
rituraj@khaleejtimes.com
 


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