Press Release

February 05, 2018 

Sharjah: Wasim Akram, Pakistan’s legendary all-rounder, wants gully cricket that paved the way for him to earn international laurels to get more popular.

Accepting to be the brand ambassador of the second edition of the 10 Premier League (10PL), to be played with tennis ball at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium from March 19-23, Akram remarked: “Get noticed, Get famous and enjoy playing in the 10PL.”

Akram wants everyone to enjoy cricket by following the path that he took to fame. This tournament was visualised by Petromann Events Chairman Abdul Latif Khan. “All of us in the subcontinent have grown up playing tennis ball cricket on the streets. Some of us have learnt key tricks that have helped us on the bigger stage as well. A tournament is the right platform for raw talents to showcase what they are capable of doing,” said Akram.

Akram’s love for tennis ball cricket goes back to childhood as it’s only from the age of 16 that he started playing with a cricket ball. “Till then, it was mostly six-a-side competition and I was even known as tennis ball cricket professional, “ said Akram, who carried his skills into matches played with cricket ball and at the age of 18 made his international debut.

Latif’s objective on starting this tournament was to encourage more youngsters play with tennis ball. “I am happy I could take gully cricket into a famous international stadium like Sharjah and host it with teams from various countries in December, 2016. The response and success of the first edition is what has prompted to stage the second edition with more teams,” said Latif. Teams from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman have confirmed their participation.

The first edition was contested by 16 teams and for the second edition 20 spots are up for grabs with a number of corporate houses wanting to contest in it. The tournament boasts the highest prize money of Dh250,000 and is the highest for tennis ball cricket tournaments anywhere in the world. This has resulted in cricketers, who are experts in tennis ball cricket, getting flown in to compete in the tournament.

Many international cricketers will be in action. “Former Pakistan wicketkeeper batsman Zulqarnain Haider had played in the first edition and for the second edition, Pakistan’s Imran Nazir, Sri Lanka’s Thilan Thushara, Chamara Silva and a number of Ranji Trophy players from Indian including Indian Premier League’s Rajasthan Royals paceman Kamran Khan will be playing,” said Latif.

November 15, 2016

Dubai: Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag, one of the most destructive batsmen to have played the game, wants cricketers to take gully cricket — or street cricket — which is played with tennis balls seriously. In fact, Sehwag has even agreed to be the brand ambassador of one of the richest gully cricket leagues to be held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium from November 29 to December 2.

Speaking to Gulf News from India about his love for gully cricket and the thrill of playing cricket with a tennis ball, he said: “In a cricket-crazy nation like India, the dream of playing big cricket starts from gully cricket and mine was no different. I never had opportunities to play in a gully cricket tournament like the one being organised at the Sharjah stadium. So those who will be playing in this tournament are lucky because, to get to play in an international stadium in front of thousands of people cheering for you, it is something which I could not experience when I played gully cricket.”

The gully cricket tournament, which has been named Ten Premier League (10PL), is being organised by Petromann, a UAE-based oil and gas company, and will be formally launched at a ceremony to held on November 18.

“In my knowledge 10PL is going to be the biggest tennis ball cricketing event and is a great platform for those who play cricket with tennis ball. So when the organisers approached me to be the ambassador, I readily agreed,” added Sehwag.

This tournament was envisioned by Abdul Latif Khan, a popular gully cricketer in Mumbai during the nineties. “It is my love for gully cricket and years of joy playing with tennis ball that tempted me to stage such a tournament here. It will be a big boost for many in UAE who regularly play cricket with tennis ball,” said Khan, who elaborated on details of the launch. Prize money for the tournament is Dh250,000 and the winning team can pocket Dh115,000.

“The grouping of the 16 teams that have confirmed their participation will be held during the launch. It will be followed by trophy unveiling and jersey launch. During the launch, we will honour former UAE captain Khurram Khan and present captain Amjad Javed,” said Khan.

Sehwag called on players to train hard to excel in this format. “It is relatively easy to hit a boundary with a leather ball when compared with a tennis ball. You have to put serious power behind it and I know many international cricketers who regularly train with tennis ball. So this tournament will be challenging and entertaining,” said Sehwag, who will be here to watch the final and give away the prizes.

Teams from different parts of the world that regularly feature in tennis ball events have confirmed for the event. “Teams from India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Muscat and UAE are competing. Players like Bilal Khan from Oman, Ranji trophy player Jignesh Patil, UAE team players Laxman Sreekumar, Krishna Karate and Mohammad Naveed are playing for the various teams,” said Khan, who has imported Tennex brand tennis balls for the tournament.

March 01, 2018

Sharjah: Former Pakistan captain and legendary left-arm swing bowler Wasim Akram has a special advice for budding cricketers.

“Start by playing with tennis ball. Many top cricketers started their career playing with tennis ball. I was once a professional tennis ball cricketer before playing with hard ball and went on to play for Pakistan,” he said.

Akram, who is here as the director of Multan Sultans, which is the new entry into the Pakistan Super League team, is the brand ambassador of the 10 Premier League (10PL) to be held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium from March 19-23. Through a colourful function at the Intercontinental Hotel on Wednesday night, Akram launched the second edition of the 10PL in the presence of the 16 team owners and organisers of the event.

Akram then went on to narrate how he became the much sought after tennis ball cricket star during his school days in Pakistan. “Before I played for Pakistan in 1984, I was a professional tennis ball cricket player. I used to be paid Pakistan Rs20 (60 fills approx) per game. That was a lot of money at that time and so if I played 10 games in a month I could easily make Rs200 (Dh6 approx). I learnt a lot by playing tennis ball cricket on the streets and on the terrace. Tennis ball cricket will always remain close to my heart.”

Akram even revealed that there were players much better than him in tennis ball cricket. “In school there used be a player called Nadeem. He was the star of tennis ball cricket. This cricket has very different skills but you can learn a lot from it,” said Akram, who is now known as the Sultan of Swing and surprised everyone once by swinging the tennis ball too.

Akram revealed that tennis ball cricket, which is called gully cricket, could be played by anyone. “We did not have the money to even buy proper stumps and often bricks and a branch from a tree were used to be the stumps. We did not have abdomen guards those days and hence we were very careful to play the sweep and reverse sweep shots for fear of being hit. I learnt a lot from it before moving to hard ball.”

Abdul Latif Khan, who conceptualised this tournament, said: “I am happy that we are able to stage the world’s richest gully cricket tournament here under the aegis of Sharjah Cricket Council and support from Waleed Bukhatir. The response has been so much that next year we will conduct an auction for players like in the Indian Premier League. The best of gully cricketers, based on their bio data which can be filed in our web site, will be categorised into A, B and C and owners can buy them.”

In this edition, Pakistan Test star Imran Nazir, Sri Lanka’s international players Thilan Thushara and Chamara Silva will be in action. The 10PL carries a prize money of Dh250,000 and players from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and various Middle East countries will be in action. Akram also unveiled the tournament jersey, anthem and the trophy.

March 11, 2018

Robin Uthappa will be seen in a new avatar at the upcoming 10 PL. Uthappa will be the brand ambassador and mentor for the team to be fielded by’s side in the tournament to be staged from March 19-23 at the historic Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

In all 16 teams will be participating in what is the world’s biggest tennis ball cricket tournament.

Uthappa will be present in Sharjah on March 21 to cheer and support his team during the team’s matches to be held on the day.

Uthappa played 46 ODIs and 13 T20Is for India. “It will be interesting to see cricket in a new form. I am fortunate that I can bring in some of experience to cheer my squad, albeit from the sidelines. All of us have played tennis ball cricket at sometime in our lives in India. So it would be great to relive that experience,” said Uthappa.

February 09, 2018

Dubai. Legendary Pakistan batsman Zaheer Abbas, who was one of the most stylish batsmen and known as ‘Asian Bradman’ for his consistency, is indebted to playing gully cricket with tennis ball.

“While in school we used to play with tennis balls. To start off it is always good to play with tennis ball and for me it had many benefits. It did help me play the bounce well.”

Abbas, who had consistently displayed his ability to play on bouncy and moving wickets, then elaborated on how tennis ball cricket can be put to full use. “In subcontinent, especially on India and Pakistan wickets the ball do not bounce like in South Africa or Australia. In tennis ball cricket the ball bounces and one can learn to pick the bouncing ball.”

Abbas will be supporting the T10 Premier League (T10PL) at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium from March 19 to 23 and will fly in to witness the final matches.

Another legendary Pakistan cricketer Wasim Akram is the brand ambassador of the 10PL.

Abbas, who was the president of the International Cricket Council in 2015, then went on to speak on various aspects of the game, especially the changing wickets around the world. He feels that playing English county cricket too helped him to be able to play on any wicket.

“County cricket made many of us better players. We used to play on grassy and bouncy wicket and to play on English wickets those days wasn’t that easy. Since the advent of T20 cricket the wickets have changed all over the world and become batsmen’s paradises. Cricket has changed quiet a lot from our days.”

When asked whether the standard of cricket has improved and become more competitive compared to his days, Abbas said: “It is difficult to answer it because in our days wickets used to be fast and we had no helmets, chest guards and other protective equipment like today. We used to play on wet wickets and the conditions were really very different. So it’s not right to analyse today’s standard because this is the way the game is today and whoever is the best, play at their best.”

When quizzed about why teams winning at home cannot perform abroad and can a team that win most matches adjudged as the best?, Abbas said: “I think there should be a marking. If a team cannot beat New Zealand in New Zealand or in South Africa and at least win one Test or a few matches on a tour, we cannot call them one of the best teams. Those teams should be classified because winning at home does not make you the best. To be called the best team you have to win abroad too. The ICC cannot go to all places and create wickets and hence it is important for players to get used to fast and bouncy wickets when they go to certain countries.”

Abbas hailed the rise of Afghanistan and Ireland as Test playing nations. “When more team emerge there will be more competition. Afghanistan and Ireland will get stronger when they play against top teams of the world. It is a good development and I am hoping cricket will spread all over the world. One thing is for sure, cricket will progress every day,” said Abbas, who wants all forms of cricket to progress.

“I was here for Blind Cricket World Cup, now I will be here for tennis ball cricket and more the cricket is played in any form, it is good for the game,” said Abbas.

January 07, 2020

Dubai: Dwayne Bravo, the colourful character from West Indies cricket, has been named as the face of 10PL- the World Cup of tennis ball cricket, to be held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium from March 8-13 this year.

The World Cup, sponsored by UAE-based company Petromann, boasts the highest prize money for tennis ball cricket and is valued at a total of Dh250,000.

Bravo, a member of the squad which won two T20 World Cups for West Indies in 2012 and 2016, has been a white ball specialist for close to a decade and a half. He was also part of West Indies’ 2004 Champions Trophy winning squad and plies his trade in T20 franchise leagues around the world. He recently led Maratha Arabians to the title at the Abu Dhabi T10 tournament.

A total of 16 teams participated in the first two editions of 10PL-World Cup of tennis ball cricket and for this year, nearly 40 teams have expressed their interest for an available 20 spots.

In the last two editions, in addition to regular tennis ball cricketers, former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Zulqarnain Haider, former Sri Lankan Test cricketers — Chamara Silva and Thilan Thushara have also been seen in action.

March 05, 2020

Sharjah: Tennis ball cricket, which has been the first step towards international fame for many great cricketers, will be back at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium through the third edition of the 10Premier League from March 8 to 13. The trophy, jersey and anthem of this tournament, which is the richest tennis ball cricket tournament in the world with a prize money of Dh250,000, was launched on Wednesday night.

The colourful launch function was attended by Mubashir Usmani, the General Secretary of the Emirates Cricket Board and Mazhar Khan of the Sharjah Cricket Council and the General Manager of Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the presence of Abdul Latif Khan, who visualised this tournament and Parvez Khan of Petromann, the title sponsors of the event.

Sixteen teams divided into four groups will vie for the 10PL title, which has earned the reputation of being the World Cup of tennis ball cricket. Teams from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and UAE will take part. West Indies legendary all-rounder Dwayne Bravo is the brand ambassador for the event and will be arriving soon the witness the contest. For the first time, an India-Pakistan exhibition match is also scheduled to be held on March 11 at the Sharjah Stadium from 8.30pm.

Speaking to Gulf News during the ceremony, Latif Khan said: “The last two editions were a huge success and so I want to make this edition better and bigger than the previous ones. Though this form of cricket is most popular in India and Pakistan but ever since we hosted this tournament every tennis ball cricket player now aims to play in this tournament. We had players like former Pakistan wicketkeeper batsman Zulqarnain Haider, former Sri Lankan Test cricketers-Chamara Silva and Thilan Thushara play in the tournament. To ensure that it is a clean tournament, for the first time ECB’s Anti-Corruption Officer will be present during the tournament.”

Speaking to Gulf News during the ceremony, Latif Khan said: “The last two editions were a huge success and so I want to make this edition better and bigger than the previous ones. Though this form of cricket is most popular in India and Pakistan but ever since we hosted this tournament every tennis ball cricket player now aims to play in this tournament. We had players like former Pakistan wicketkeeper batsman Zulqarnain Haider, former Sri Lankan Test cricketers-Chamara Silva and Thilan Thushara play in the tournament. To ensure that it is a clean tournament, for the first time ECB’s Anti-Corruption Officer will be present during the tournament.”

The grouping for the tournament was held during the function. In A group is Inter Globe Marine, Eleven Warriors, ECraft Media, Globe Link West Star Shipping, Group B will have Petromann, Friends Kuwaits, Shehenshan Warriors and Eleven Warriors Dubai. Group C is made up of Dombivili Gramin Star, Tiptop Alliance, SJA Shipping, Indo Riders. Group will have Aasha Ki Kiran Raigad Warriors, Island Boys Sri Lanka, UKCC Kuwait and Hashmi CC.

March 12, 2020

Dubai: An India-Pakistan cricket match – played at any time of the day, irrespective of whether it is a red, white or a tennis ball – there will be no dearth of ardent fans rooting for the teams.

The India-Pakistan match on Wednesday night, organised as part of the third edition of the 10PL, the ‘richest’ tennis ball cricket tournament being held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, was watched by an enthusiastic crowd on the ground and 132,000 people on YouTube.

The clash of the rivals created the same atmosphere of the many India-Pakistan matches held here regularly during the Cricketers’ Benefit Fund Series in the 80’s and early 90’s. Both the teams were made up of the best tennis ball cricketers from both the countries.

Despite the match starting after 9pm and finishing only past midnight, the match was keenly followed in India and Pakistan despite it was nearly dawn for them.

Speaking to Gulf News, Abdul Latif Khan, who visualised this tournament, said: “Very few know that tennis ball cricket has a huge following and is tremendously popular. Some of the players have huge fan following for their skills. India’s Krishna Satpute is known as the Sachin Tendulkar of tennis ball cricket and has been praised by even international Test stars.”

Satpute, who plays the Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s trademark helicopter shot with ease, scored only 12 runs in this match and it was Thomas Dias who top scored with 25 runs and helped India post a challenging total. They then bowled out Pakistan for 41 runs in 8.5 overs to win the match by 45 runs.

Indian bowlers like Vishwajit Thakur and Ankur Singh – both of whom took three wickets each – are so much in demand that they now travel to many parts of India and even abroad and regularly play in Oman and Qatar, which hosts tennis ball tournaments. Satpute, who is in huge demand, has hit six sixes in an over thrice in tournaments and once hit a century in 28 balls in a Pune tournament.

As soon as India were restricted to 86 for five, the commentators kept receiving messages from Mumbai on fans offering huge rewards to win the match. “A Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Mumbai announced Rs 100,000 (Dh 5000 approx) to the Indian players. They are now expected to receive a lot of gifts in India for beating Pakistan. The response of this India-Pakistan match has been so much that I will stage this contest every year,” announced Latif Khan.

The ongoing 10PL is being contested by 16 teams with the final to be held on Friday at the Sharjah Stadium. Dwayne Bravo, the West Indies legendary allrounder who is the ambassador of this tournament, will give away the prizes.

December 03, 2016

Sharjah. Pacific Ventures emerged as the first champions of the Ten Premier League (10PL) gully cricket tournament held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday night. In the final they defeated Team Petromann by six wickets and received the winners’ trophy and Dh115,000 cash prize from former Indian opener Virender Sehwag.

The tournament saw the finest tennis ball cricket specialist from India, Pakistan and GCC countries displaying their skills. In the final, Team Petromman that batted first were restricted to 59 for six in the allotted ten overs and Pacific Venture won the match in 7.3 overs.

This richest gully cricket tournament was held under the auspices of the Sharjah Cricket Council with a total prize money of Dh250,000, Runners up Team Petromman received Dh60,000. Hundreds of spectators cheered for the finalists and Sehwag, who is the brand ambassador for the tournament. The tournament was organised by Petromann and sponsored by Danube, Domino & Sveston watches, Lama Tours, Pocari Sweat, Pacific Ventures, Radio 4 89.1FM, Tools Marcom and Delhi Darbar with Cricon as the event consultants.

Shreyas Indulkar of Petromann bagged the player of the tournament award while Krishna Satpute of Pacific Ventures won the best batsman award. These two players, known in tennis ball cricket circles as gifted stars, enthralled the spectators with their breathtaking strokes.

Petromann could have posted a bigger total had Shreyas not been run out by Pacific’s Bilal Shaikh. Shreyas had cracked run-a-ball 23 runs while Jignesh Patil who, won the man of the final award, took two wickets.

Chasing the total, Pacific Ventures lost their opener Ejaz Qureshi for a duck. Satpute, who hit three boundaries from eight balls, could score only 14 runs but Yogesh Penkar scored an unbeaten 16 and steered the team to the target.

Pacific Ventures had reached the final by registering a seven-wicket win over Eastern Blues from Saudi Arabia in the semi-final. The hero of the match was Pacific’s Jignesh, who took four wickets for just eight runs from his two overs. Pacific reached the target in 7.5 over through Penkar’s unbeaten 41 runs.

Petromann eased past Al Falah Club from Saudi Arabia by 48 runs in the semi-final. Backed by M Yogesh’s 40 runs, Petromann posted 93 for nine. Chasing the target, Al Falah could muster only 45 runs.

Brief scores:

Final: Pacific Ventures bt Team Petromann by six wickets. Team Petromann 59 for 6 in 10 overs (Shreyas Indulkar 23, Jignesh Patil 2 for 10) Pacific Ventures 60 for 4 in 7.3 overs (Yogesh Penkar 16n.o, Krishna Satpute 14)

Individual awards: Man of the final: Jignesh Patel, best batsman: Krishna Satpute, best bowler — Rohan Sawant, best allrounder — M. Sajid.

March 24, 2018

Sharjah: Yash Bisya Lions displayed the thrills of gully cricket by emerging as the champions of the second 10PL tennis ball cricket tournament at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium through a last-ball six win over Alliance on Friday.

Needing three runs to win off the last ball and with only one wicket in hand, the Oman-based Lions team’s Mohammad Zahid hit a towering six over long on and reached the target — emulating Javed Miandad’s final ball six in the 1986 AustralAsia Cup for Pakistan against India at the same venue.

Alliance had posted a challenging target of 70 runs to win in the 10 overs but Lions lost nine wickets in their chase. Speaking to Gulf News after helping his team lift the 24 Carat Gold Plated Italian made winners’ trophy, Zahid said: “I am proud that I could do what Miandad did at this venue.”

Abdul Latif Khan, the chairman of 10PL, who conceptualised this tournament said: “We are delighted that this tournament has finished on a high this year and is getting more popular. The intensity of the contest can be gauged from the margin of victories in the quarter-final which were by two to three runs and in the semi-finals Lions beat Eleven Warriors by two runs and Alliance defeated Globe Link West Star by nine runs. Strong teams like Pacific Ventures, Hanan India, Eastern Blues crashed to shock defeats too. This tournament’s live coverage on Facebook, Twitter and Instargam was watched in 36 countries and we have recorded a viewership of 2.1 million viewers.”

A huge welcome awaits Lions team in Oman. Bhushan Patil, the captain of Lions team, said: “It is a dream win for all the players. We are not professional cricketers but we will be heroes like international cricketers when we reach home as this is the best and richest tennis ball tournament in the world (with prize money of Dh250,000). Last year we lost in the semi-finals but we have done it this time.”

Usman Patel, who scored 117 runs was adjudged the best batsman, Zaheer Kaliya with 18 wickets won the best bowler and man of the tournament award. Kaliya was so economical that no a single boundary or sixer was scored off his bowling.

The final of the 10PL, powered by Nafiya Tours and Travels, was played in front of the legendary pacer Wasim Akram, brand ambassador of the tournament.

Giving away the trophy, Akram said: “Tennis ball cricket is close to my heart. I was one among them when I started playing cricket and played in the gully and streets of Pakistan with searchlights. I am happy tennis ball cricket is being played with huge prize money, under floodlights and in a historic stadium.”

March 24, 2018

Dubai: Friends Kuwait won the richest and world’s most popular tennis ball cricket tournament defeating Globelink West Star Shipping team by 11 runs at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The final of the third edition of the third 10PL, which is considered as the World Cup in tennis ball cricket, was watched by over 100,000 on YouTube and over a 1,000 spectators at the Sharjah Stadium. More than one million viewers tuned in to watch the event on YouTube.

The organisers made the final day of this Dh250,000 event, which was contested by 16 teams from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman, into a spectacular occasion with drum beats and a fireworks display. The winners received the richest prize money of Dh110,000 while runners-up Globelink received Dh70,000.

Batting first, Friends Kuwait got off to a poor start losing opener Krishna Satpute, known as the Sachin Tendulkar of tennis-ball cricket, for 4, his partner Ajith Mohithe for a duck and Thomas Dias for 3 and were reeling at three wickets down for seven runs before Yogesh Pawar played a knock of 31 runs. Vishwajith Thakur, who was instrumental in India defeating Pakistan in the clash of the rivals on Wednesday night, emerged as the hero of the final too chipping in with a timely 15 runs to help Kuwait post 72-8 in 10 overs. Thakur then went on to produce a deadly spell of four wickets for seven runs to destroy Globelink’s hopes. In fact, Globelink got off to a good start through their openers Tushar Randivee (17) and S. Maggi (20) before Thakur struck repeatedly.

Globelink needed 14 runs off the last over. Thakur took two wickets with consecutive balls and produced a superb over to ensure his team an 11-run win. He was adjudged as the man of the tournament for his haul 13 wickets and over 50 runs from this edition. The winners’ trophy was received by Ankur Singh, who also captained India to victory over Pakistan, making him the skipper to lift two trophies in this tournament.

The prize giving function was attended by Mazhar Khan of the Sharjah Cricket Council and all the sponsors.