Former Pakistan Test opener Imran Nazir launched 10PL, the richest ever gully cricket tournament to be played with tennis ball at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium this month end, during a colourful ceremony held at the Hyatt Regency on Friday evening.This tournament, which has Indian opener Virender Sehwag as their brand ambassador, with prize money of Dh 250,000, will be contested by 16 teams and held under the auspices of the Sharjah Cricket Council.
Abdul Latif Khan, a popular gully cricketer in Mumbai during the nineties, who envisaged this tournament, announced the names of the teams from India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and the UAE.
Speaking at the launch, Nazir said: “I grew up playing gully cricket with tennis ball in Pakistan and I am so delighted to find a gully cricket tournament being held at an international stadium with huge prize money.”
The winning team will pocket Dh115,000 while the runners up can win Dh60,000. This event, which is being hosted by Petromann, a UAE-based oil and gas company, has received huge sponsorship support with Danube, Domino watches, Sveston, Lama Tours, Pocari Sweat, Pacific Ventures, Radio4 89.1 FM, Tools Marcom backing the event and Cricon as event consultants.
Anis Sajan of Danube, appealing for more such innovative tournaments, said: “It takes a lot of courage to organise such a tournament and hope that this tournament is a success and held every year.” The draw was attended by representatives of all teams.
Addressing the gathering through a video from India that was displayed on the giant screen, Sehwag called on all teams to train hard and produce excellent cricket. In Group A are Pacific Ventures, Yash Bisya Lions (Oman), Eastern Blues (Saudi Arabia) and Globe West Star Shipping.
Group B is made up of Team Petromann, Al Falah Cricket Club (Saudi Arabia), Amaco Challengers (Saudi Arabia) and Shehenshah Warriors (Pakistan). Group C has OCC Kerala (Saudi Arabia), Hanan Cricket Club (Qatar), SKC Goa (India) and Radio4 89.7FM. Group D comprise Friday Chargers (Abu Dhabi), Eleven Warriors, SAB Warriors (Saudi Arabia) and Alliance Freelance (Qatar).
Alongside the tournament there will be entertainment for families and lucky draw for the spectators. The entry will be free and all matches will be held under Sharjah’s stadium floodlights. The final is scheduled for December 2 with Sehwag presenting the winners’ trophy and individual awards for the top performers.
“The first edition is to give a taste of tennis ball cricket and encourage this format and for the next edition we will open the entry for more teams,” said Latif Khan.