Hitting a new high with tennis ball
The world’s biggest tournament has been played at the iconic Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah for two seasons now. The tournament is staged under the aegis of the Sharjah Cricket Council, under the leadership of Waleed Bukhatir.
Former Pakistan paceman and captain W
The tournament is the brainchild of UAE-based Petromann Events to manage, operate and market the Indian team. Petromann Events, brainchild of Mr Abdul Latif Khan, also known as Arif Khan in the sporting arena. The tournament boasts the highest prize money for tennis ball cricket anywhere in the world and is valued at a total of 250,000 Dirhams.
In the first edition in addition to regular tennis ball cricketers, former Pakistan wicket-keeper batsman Zulqarnain Haideralso participated in the tournament. This year another Pakistan cricketer Imran Nazir is also drafted to play in the tournament. Among the other international players, Sri Lanka’s Thilan Thushara and Chamara Silva are also likely to play. From India a number of players who have played Ranji Trophy are listed in squads, alongside former Rajasthan Royals paceman Kamran Khan.
India batsman Robin Uthappa was named the brand ambassador and mentor for the team to be fielded by the sponsor Tayyarah.com in the second edition of the tournament. In all 16 teams participated in what is the world’s biggest tennis ball cricket tournament.
More than a decade ago a team emerged from nowhere to try their hands in indoor cricket tournaments in Dubai; ateamlargely made of blue collared workers.A man named Abdul Latif Khan also known as Arif Khan was the man behind this startup. A passionate cricketer having played moderate level of the game back home in India, Arif Khan was desperate to carry on his love when he came to Dubai in search of greener pastures.Despite the initial hardship, in 2004, he decided to form the team named PETROMANN that entered the indoorfacility for the first time. Offered an opportunity to prove their mettle in the ‘D’ Division at Insportz, it was not a smooth sailing for Arif Khan and his team. There were handful of players who were ready to play but could not afford shoes while many of them were not even aware of the rules of indoor cricket.
But with a never-say-die attitude, Arif Khan ensured he kept the spirit of the team high and the results began to show as they emerged champions of that division.Thereafter it was a fairytale ride for the Petromann as the team quickly rose through the success ladder and found themselves playing in the ‘A’ Division against some of the best teams in the country.
Their fight to excel continued and there was no looking back as the team made winning tournaments a habit. They achieved success in every possible tournament proving their dominance in indoor cricket and earning a huge reputation in the cricketing fraternity.The team’s face changed rapidly as years went by with several players who represented the UAE National team also being part of the setup. Among those Amjad Javed, Asif Mumtaz, Rohan Mustafa and Qassim were some to name a few.
They went a step ahead bringing international players on full time contract from Sri Lanka to play further strengthen the team. A full-fledged board was formed to further enhance the management of the team that included Usman Manzoor, Riyaz Khan, Sheikh Usman and Tanveer Sadekar.As they grew in status, for the first time in 2013, Petromann found a sponsor in Pacific Ventures for ICC Summer League. Real Estate developer Parvez Khan showed tremendous interest in the team and soon Pacific Ventures & PetromannGroup Cricket Club collaborated as the team began playing under the banner of PVCC. This was the firstteam to find a full sponsor in the UAE.
After having achieved so much, Abdul Latif Khan, who also served as the Manager of Cricket Operations for Capricorn Commanders in the Masters Champions League held in 2016, felt it was time to give back something to the game he loved so much. In addition to the above, Petromann Events also managed Maratha Arabians, a team at the recently conducted T10 League. Earlier, Petromann Events also managed the operations for the launch of MS Dhoni Academy. Petromann Events has also managed the Shahid Afridi-Virender Sehwag chat show in the build-up to the second edition of T10 in October 2018.