September 2, 2007

Dubai

Keeping Dubai cricket alive

Will Luke

Tariq Butt is almost single handedly keeping cricket in Dubai alive, according to an interesting report in Gulfnews.

Tariq Butt, one of the UAE's leading umpires, is a passionate organiser of tournaments. Since 1989 Butt has staged tournaments in different parts of Dubai and is keen to see that cricket continues to thrive in Dubai.

"For the last 18 years I have organised cricket festivals to mark the Indian and Pakistan Independence Day. I made sure that absence of grounds does not put to an end to this tradition," said Butt, who hails from Pakistan.

Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Zach on (April 9, 2009, 18:42 GMT)

Is there any expats playing cricket in Dubai? Social cricket on the weekends maybe?

Posted by Nicolas Cox on (January 11, 2009, 22:33 GMT)

Have been searching high and low to get involved in some level of cricket. Have recently moved back down here from Australia. Did play the odd game at the darjeeling cricket club when I was younger and at school here, but the clubs no longer around since their grounds have been taken. Anyone got any ideas??

Posted by Martin Bullock on (August 7, 2008, 4:29 GMT)

I've just moved to Dubai from England and would like to join a cricket team but after reading some of the comments on here it sounds like it might be difficult. I've spoken to a couple of other people who would be interested in starting their own team, are there any pitches for hire in Dubai?

Posted by Lawrence on (September 4, 2007, 10:39 GMT)

True, Dubai is suffering from shortage of grounds but to say Tariq single handedly keeping cricket alive is highly exaggerated fact. yes he does single handedly but his own interest of organising seven-a-side cricket for a company which pays him money. he keeps switching his loyalty from sharjah to dubai to abu dhabi to ajman and whatever council can give him permission to host non-de-script event each year. if there are people who strive to keep cricket alive in uae are mohammed lkokhandwala, mazhar khan, hyat yaar khan, farooqi, then there were people like kishan and of course abedul razzak... rest all serve their own selfish interest.

Posted by Lawrence on (September 4, 2007, 10:38 GMT)

True, Dubai is suffering from shortage of grounds but to say Tariq single handedly keeping cricket alive is highly exaggerated fact. yes he does single handedly but his own interest of organising seven-a-side cricket for a company which pays him money. he keeps switching his loyalty from sharjah to dubai to abu dhabi to ajman and whatever council can give him permission to host non-de-script event each year. if there are people who strive to keep cricket alive in uae are mohammed lkokhandwala, mazhar khan, hyat yaar khan, farooqi, then there were people like kishan and of course abedul razzak... rest all serve their own selfish interest.

Posted by Cat on (September 4, 2007, 7:23 GMT)

Yes, a sad state of affairs when the ICC Headquarters shifted there and yet the age old Darjeeling Cricket Club is being closed down and being forced to Move On!! This club is very well known in the Asian region and indeed cricketing world, yet the Dubai Government just goes ahead and does what it likes.

Posted by craig on (September 3, 2007, 22:02 GMT)

If only matching fixing did not exist in Dubai, you could have seen more matches played here. Too much greed killed the golden goose. Some people just learn the hard way.

Posted by john on (September 3, 2007, 12:41 GMT)

Well its true that Dubai hasn't done anything to improve the cricket facilities. We children have to play on parking lots to play cricket it is a shame

Posted by BVKH on (September 3, 2007, 9:45 GMT)

If I am not mistaken about 70 % of Dubai's popoulation of about 1.5 Million is from the sub-continent , primarily Indian , Pakistani , Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan.

ICC is headquartered in Dubai sports city.

What an irony Dubai has no proper cricket ground!

Correction , until last year there were a few makeshift facilities , but those properties are now being "developed" not as cricket grounds but as plush up-market neghbourhoods that are beyond most average middle class people.

Does that sound familiar? It should if you live and work in Dubai. Cricket offers little or no money , in comparison to say - Golf. Incidentally there are at least 15 state of the art golf courses in Dubai , about 50 % of it have been built over the last 5 years. So there is space for golf courses but no space for cricket grounds.

Cricket is more about passion and less about money (many readers may disagree with this view). But I strongly believe that when India ( or any team from the sub continent) takes the field almost the entire population of the country is paying attention. A street vendor's attention to cricket is as important as that of say , Mick jagger. Thats passion.

Here is the conclusion , If ICC does not intervene and insist that Dubai builds " X " number of cricket grounds they should leave Dubai.

Comments are welcome.

Posted by Nayr. on (September 2, 2007, 15:50 GMT)

I totally agree with Joe.May be we can actually make something out of this pathetic situation and actually devise a brand new form of cricket-Rooftop Cricket. It might catch on in other cities where there is a shortage(i'm sure there are none as bad as dubai)of space.

But it really is sad the way the government goes about destroying so many grounds.Never really seen them do that to a football stadium.

Football is the national sport-But the UAE does not even figure in the 75 of the world.

The "UAE" cricket team has atleast played a world cup and also taken part in the Asia Cup.This proves that there is talent.Just because the locals don't take much interest in cricket, it shouldn't mean that cricket grounds and facilities are destroyed with gay abandon.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Luke
Assistant editor Will opted against a lifetime of head-bangingly dull administration in the NHS, where he had served for two years. In 2005 came a break at Cricinfo where he slotted right in as a ferociously enthusiastic tea drinker and maker, with a penchant for using "frankly" and "marvellous". He also runs The Corridor, a cricket blog where he can be found ranting and raving about all things - some even involving the sport. He is a great-great nephew of Sir Jack Newman, the former Wellingtonian bowler who took two wickets at 127 apiece for New Zealand.

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