UAE, co-winners of the 2012 ACC Trophy Elite

The Emirates Cricket Board, having once fielded a team in the World Cup, want to be there again. With more home-grown cricketers. A revamp of domestic cricket is being seen to be the key, the aim being to create more competitive league matches and thus create more competitive cricketers.

An ‘Emirates Top Clubs League’ will be set up, for the best 16 clubs in the Emirates. Sponsorship deals are yet to be inked, and the aim is to make the league more than self-sustaining with incoming revenues. Above all, it is to be about making domestic cricket a stepping-stone for the best performers on the way to international competition for the UAE. Age-group cricket competitions will also be upgraded, at 50-over and T20 level.

Neighbouring Oman had one team dominating last season’s domestic league - because of the overseas players drafted in. “It was clear that they were playing cricket at a higher level and to beat them everyone else will have to play better,” said Oman Cricket Secretary Madhu Jesrani. The new UAE league will allow two overseas cricketers per side. There are also plans for an Emirates Champions League with eight teams, with four overseas players for each team. And to keep players in the game and performing at the highest level, central contracts on the Afghanistan model are being mooted.

(from left to right) Emirates Cricket Board Administrator and DCDC Head of Cricket Affairs Mazhar Khan, ECB DCDC Custodian Shaji Ul-Mulk, and ACC Events Manager Sultan Rana look on as UAE and Nepal captains Khurram Khan and Paras Khadka share the 2012 ACC Trophy Elite

UAE businessman Shaji Ul-Mulk is the custodian of the new ECB Domestic Cricket Development Committee (DCDC) and, quoted in Gulf News, said, “Our goal is to help the UAE attain ICC International One-Day and Twenty20 status within the next four years and full member status within 10 years. We are also aiming to gather a pool of 200 UAE nationals regularly playing schools cricket and field a minimum of at least five UAE nationals in the national team within 10 years.”

UAE Cricket Profile

Filed November 30th, 2012