All set for Al Aqili T20 Trophy
ABU DHABI — The summer break in terms of the cricket season in Abu Dhabi seems to be getting shorter. Just over a month after the season ended with the Al Hamad Contracting Trophy ‘A’ Division tournament, the new season will be back up and running again with the Al Aqili Ramadan Twenty20 Trophy.
The prestigious Al Aqili Ramadan Twenty20 Trophy, which carries the richest prize purse when it comes to cricket in the country, will begin on Friday. Twenty teams are in the fray and will battle it out for the Dh 20,000 prize money for the winners. The runners-up will get Dh 12,000.
“The best way to look after our health is to play a healthy sport. Under the leadership and vision of our Rulers, they have converted Abu Dhabi to a sports environment city. And Wajahat and his colleagues are taking that path. This is a small way to prove our commitment to the cause,” Mohammed Saeed Al Aqili, Vice Chairman of Al Aqili Group, said.
“The Al Aqili Group have shown their social responsibility. The spirit of Ramadan and the spirit of cricket go hand in hand. The spirit of cricket develops character and there can be no better time to display that during Ramadan,” Dilawar Mani, the CEO of the Emirates Cricket Board, said.
The tournament consists of 47 games with 20 teams divided into four groups. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the quarter-finals. The final is slated to be held on August 10. Each team can have a squad of 18 players. Overseas players are allowed to participate in the tournament without any restrictions. However, to qualify to play in the knockout stage, a player must have played at least one round match.
“This will add quality and competitiveness to the tournament. Most teams now are run by corporates rather than individuals. So, they can afford to bring in foreign players,” said Wajahat Husain. Nissan Al Masaood take on NMC in the opening fixture on Friday.
Group A: Mulk Holdings, Journey Hardware Trading, Interface Transworld, Etihad Flyers, Seven Seas Strikers.
Group B: UBL, Al Maha Travels, Robert Stone, Ibsons, ECB Greens.
Group C: Royal Gymkhana, ADAS, Phoenix Medicine, Nissan Al Masaood, New Medical Centre (NMC).
Group D: ADGAS, Daman Insurance, Al Jabeen Cricket Club, Wings XI, Yogi Group.