Marathas set for a fresh battle ground in Arabian land
Sangakkara, Amir, Kamran Akmal other key members of the squad; Wasim Akram is the Head Coach of the franchise
by Suman Gupta
30 November, Mumbai: The great warrior race of Marathas is all set to resume battle, but on a fresh battle ground, the cricket fields of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Named the Maratha Arabians, a franchise in the upcoming T10 Cricket League to be played over 10-overs-a-side, the squad featuring some of the world’s best known cricketers will do battle in the six-team tournament from 14-17 December.
Maratha Arabians is co-owned by Parvez Khan of Pacific Ventures, Bollywood Actor/Producer/Director Sohail Khan and Ali Tumbi of Aqua Properties. Legendary India Opener Virender Sehwag was unveiled as the icon and captain of the franchise at the launch of the jersey of the side in Mumbai on Thursday. Sehwag leads a squad featuring a number of stars including former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara, Pakistan’s stars Mohammed Amir and Kamran Akmal. Former Pakistan captain
Wasim Akram is the head coach and mentor of the squad with former England/Scotland cricketer Dougie Brown supporting him as the assistant coach. The squad consists of players from nine countries including India, England, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, South Africa, Netherlands and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The tournament is being staged under the aegis of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), with official approval of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Speaking at the launch of the jersey, Sehwag said: “It is indeed a fresh start for cricket. I am excited about this format because it will be a lot of fun to play the kind of cricket I love. The fact that the tournament aims to entertain the fans at large fits in well with me because that has been my philosophy always. I look forward to rubbing shoulders with the best in the world once again at a historic venue like Sharjah.”
Maratha Arabians Co-owner Sohail Khan said: “Cricket has always been close to my heart. So when this opportunity came along, I was only too happy to get associated. It is a brilliant concept and as a team owner it provides us an excellent opportunity to maximise the popularity of the sport further. We have a fantastic squad with an iconic captain. It cannot get better than this.”
Maratha Arabians Co-owner Parvez Khan said: “At Pacific Ventures we have always been closely associated with cricket. We have a number of initiatives in the sport which confirms our love for the game. Owning a franchise in the format is a special honour for us because it takes us back to our roots in Maharashtra. The presence of a legend like Virender Sehwag as the captain provides us an excellent opportunity to put our best foot forward in a brand new format.”
This is the second such association for Parvez Khan with a legendary Indian cricketer, after Pacific Ventures recently launched a Cricket Academy in Dubai with Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
The MS Dhoni Cricket Academy (MSDCA) has been in operation for a couple of months at the Springdales School in Dubai. The former India captain, Dhoni, himself inaugurated the Academy during his recent visit to Dubai.
Maratha Arabians Co-owner Ali Tumbi said: “Maratha Arabians is an excellent marriage of two different regions and cultures. The franchise represents the warriors of two historic regions and will fight for every inch on the cricket field during the tournament. We have assembled the best possible squad in what will be the start of a new era for cricket.”
Squad: Virender Sehwag (captain/icon/India), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Mohammed Amir (Pakistan), Alex Hales (England), Lendl Simmons (West Indies), Imad Wasim (Pakistan), Krishmar Santokie (West Indies), Rilee Rousouw (South Africa), Roelof van der Merwe (Netherlands), Kamran Akmal (Pakistan), Mohammed Sami (Pakistan), Hardus Viljoen (South Africa), Ross Whiteley (England), Shaiman Anwar (UAE), Zahoor Khan (UAE); Head Coach and Mentor: Wasim Akram; Assistant coach: Dougie Brown (England); Manager: Abdul Latif Khan
Schedule of T10 Cricket League (All local UAE timings)
14 December 2017
Opening Ceremony from 1800 hours
Bengal Tigers v Kerala Kings
Maratha Arabians v Pakhtoons
15 December 2017
Bengal Tigers v Punjabi Legends from 1600 hours
Maratha Arabians v Team Sri Lanka from 1800 hours
Punjab Legends v Kerala Kings from 2000 hours
Pakhtoons v Team Sri Lanka from 2200 hours
16 December 2017
Team 1 of Group A v Team 3 of Group B from 1600 hours
Team 3 of Group A v Team 1 of Group B from 1800 hours
Team 2 of Group A v Team 2 of Group B from 2000 hours
Bottom 2 Teams of both the groups combined will play off for the 5th and 6th place from 2200 hours
17 December 2017
First Semi Finals: – Team 1 overall v Team 4 overall – match starting at 1730 hours
Second Semi Finals: – Team 2 overall v Team 3 overall
Followed by closing ceremony
About Pacific Sports Limited : Pacific Sports Club (PSC) is a complete platform for both current and upcoming sports leaders and enthusiasts. PSC offers an array of sports activities which are mandatory to shape and prepare athletes in their respective sport. Keeping up with international and local standards of cricket, football, swimming and other sports; PSC offers you premium professional coaching that identifies each individual’s potential using both physical and mental activities. Focusing on upcoming talent, PSC thoroughly prepare students and other young potential athletes for both national and international tours so they can firsthand experience the varying conditions of different countries in terms of sports.PSC offers nothing but utmost premium facilities, hence having turf, matted and cemented pitches to suite the different playing condition, entirely different areas for field training and physical fitness, trained and certified Level 2 coaches, modern coaching equipment, swing bowling machine, video analysis, field training spin and a complete 360 holistic training and development program for every student.
About T Ten Sports : T Ten Sports Management FZE is a group company of the multinational and diversified conglomerate Mulk Holdings. The company is listed number 7 by Forbes and Arabian Business in the list of top 100 most influential companies in the Arabian world.
About Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) : Cricket in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is governed by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), overseeing all cricket activities in the Emirates including the 4 major councils; Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai and Sharjah. In 1990 Emirates Cricket became an associate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC). An emerging One Day International (ODI) country, UAE Senior Men’s team won the ACC Trophy on four consecutive occasions between 2000 and 2006, they were runners-up in the other three times the tournament was played; 1996, 1998 and 2008.
UAE Men’s won the ICC Trophy in 1994, playing their first ODIs that year, they qualified for the 1996 and 2014 Cricket World Cups. Other ODI matches were played in the 2004 and 2008 Asia Cup tournaments. In 2014 the UAE gained ODI status through to 2018. UAE’s U19s played their first ICC World Cup in 2014, when the UAE hosted the international tournament. UAE’s U19s recently competed in 2015’s ACC Premier Tournament. UAE’s women’s team competed in the 2007 ACC Women’s Tournament and has subsequently continued to promote women’s participation in the game. The Women’s team is currently champion of the recently introduced GCC T20 Women’s Championship. Over a million Emiratis live in UAE, and the Emirati Development Programme forms an important part of Emirates Cricket’s strategic plan in growing the game. The UAE National squad currently comprises of three Emirati Nationals and it’s the aim of the Emirati Development Programme to ensure that there will be a steady integration of National players available for selection, in all forms of the game, in the future.The ECB now has the resources to take professional coaching into local schools and provide playing opportunities that have been limited before. A resource book of cricket in Arabic has been created and playing equipment provided to encourage and support this learning and development. In addition, the Programme has been bolstered by the employment of a dedicated Arabic speaking Development Officer who will be able to take the game forward.
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