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The Surfer

A peek into street cricket in the UAE

Paul Radley on Friday cricket that is a ritual for the masses in the UAE

Writing in The National, Paul Radley, charts out the craze for tape-ball cricket among people from various walks of life, including fast bowler Mohammed Naveed, who represented UAE in the 2015 World Cup.
7.30am. A Friday during Ramadan, in a car park in the middle of Al Quoz industrial estate, Dubai.
While his teammates crouch between two Isuzu utility vehicles to shade themselves from the early morning sun, a batsman removes his sandals and stands in front a set of thin metal stumps.
It is an internal match between the staff of a construction firm, in the nearest car park to their company accommodation in Al Quoz. A friendly, as it were. Although it doesn't seem so friendly just at the moment.
With the Burj Khalifa cutting into the blue sky behind him, a bowler runs in, and hurls the ball down, full tilt. The batsman swings and, it appears, misses.
And there is about to be a row.
"Not out, yaar!"
Words which, judged by the tone in which they are delivered, might well include expletives, are shouted between the opposing players in Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi.