The seven Emirates of the UAE have each been given responsibility by the UAE Emirates Cricket Board to manage all the cricket activity that takes place within their regions. Cricket in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain will be governed by the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council; Sharjah, Ras al Khaimah and Fujairah under Sharjah Cricket Council; Dubai under Dubai Cricket Council and Ajman and Umm Al Quwain under the Ajman Cricket Council.

In a move designed to have all cricket in the Emirates to move forward in the same direction with the common goal of 1) creating the strongest possible national team and 2) creating the best conditions for the development of players, speaking at a press conference at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, ECB Chief Executive Officer Dilawar Mani said the policy was to “make every regional council aware of the cricket activities taking place within their jurisdictions. It shall be the responsibility of the councils to ensure development in these jurisdictions and encourage participation in the sport of cricket. Uniform playing conditions developed under the ICC guidelines shall be strictly followed in all formats of the game by the respective councils.”

The UAE Emirates Cricket Board Chief Executive Officer with Administrator Mazhar Khan

”All data will be fed into a central database maintained by the ECB and accessible by the regional councils and umpires to ensure teams and players are allowed to participate in various approved cricket activities,” he added. In effect, private cricket becomes public cricket and every ball struck and wicket taken thus becomes woven into the fabric of UAE cricket as a whole.

The policy covers registration of players and umpires, jurisdiction of the four cricket Councils, playing conditions, junior cricket development, senior men’s league cricket, women’s cricket and umpiring. As with the ACC and ICC funding model, all funds received by each council must be allocated to cricket activity.

UAE squad, 2010 ACC Trophy Elite

The UAE has until recently had the most successful senior team in the ACC along with the most cricket activity but in recent years their standing has slipped with the rise of Hong Kong and then Afghanistan. And earlier this year, because of the ACC mandate that youth teams must field at least three passport-holders in all ACC tournaments, the UAE were unable to take part in the ACC U-16 Elite in Nepal.

It is now incumbent upon each UAE cricket Council to conduct a minimum of one tournament in the following categories: U-12, U-14/U-15, U-16/U-17 and U-19. “We are also planning to have inter-emirate tournaments in the future which would help us unearth the cream of cricketers at the junior level. The winner in this tournament will be the national champions,” said Mr. Mani. Senior cricket will be played by 18 teams in two divisions with promotion and relegation between them every year.

“What this has done is not only to bring together the cricket activity of the country,” says ACC Development Manager Bandula Warnapura, “but also create good conditions of competition between the UAE Councils. UAE cricket should benefit.”

UAE Cricket Profile
UAE ‘Thinking Out of the Box’

Filed September 27th, 2010