The Chairman of the Emirates Cricket Board, His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, sanctioned a new International Cricket league in the UAE at a signing ceremony held in Abu Dhabi. Along with HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan, the signing ceremony was attended by ECB vice-chairman Mr Khalid Zarooni, Mr Salman Iqbal of the ARY Group, Mr Abdul Rehman Bukhatir, Mr Khalaf Bukhatir and Mr Aref al aware, general secretary Abu Dhabi sports council.
The agreement signed between Sharjah-based Century Events and Sports FZC and Emirates Cricket Board is launching a first-of-its-kind, exciting 90-ball inning annual cricket league to be held in Sharjah – the home of international cricket in the Middle East. The inaugural tournament is scheduled for 2022, to be held under the auspices of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB).
With an aptly named working title The Ninety-90 Bash is the collective brainchild of three leading regional entrepreneurs; Abdul Rahman Bukhatir (chairman of the Bukhatir Group), Salman Iqbal (founder and president of ARY Digital Network and owner of the Pakistan Super League’s Karachi Kings team) and Imran Chaudhry (managing director of the Cinergie Group of companies). The trio is based in the U.A.E and each one captain’s successful and diversified enterprises. The three leaders all share a common passion for the game of cricket, and they have come together to put their considerable weight behind this exciting new cricket tournament.
Globally recognized and acknowledged as the pioneer and founding father of international cricket in the Middle East Abdul Rahman Bukhatir is the chairman of the Bukhatir Group, a long-established and diversified business conglomerate based in Sharjah. A visionary with a great deal of passion for the game, he has fostered the sport’s growth in the U.A.E for decades and is looking forward to leading a new era for cricket here. “I have been a part of cricket’s journey here in the United Arab Emirates from the very beginning, and it is my endeavour to continue to give cricket a home here in the Emirates while finding ways in which to grow the game and keep it healthy.
Bukhatir added, “This new exciting format could be instrumental in creating a brand new fan base for the sport, not just in the UAE, but across the globe.”Salman Iqbal, the founder, and president of ARY Digital Network and owner of the Pakistan Super League’s Karachi Kings team is one of the region’s most successful entrepreneurs.
Iqbal believes Ninety-90 cricket is just what the game needs. “The sport has evolved over the years and the time has come for cricket to take another leap of faith. We believe we have something brand new to offer and the entire team expects the tournament to be a grand success.”
Completing the trio is Imran Chaudhry, managing director of the Cinergie Group of companies, and a renowned businessman with a diverse portfolio of corporations ranging from trading in oil field supplies, industrial equipment, and metals, to department stores, hospitality, and real estate. “The proposed Ninety-90 format will be shorter than Twenty20 cricket, with the aim of making every contest sharp, edgy, and action-packed, while retaining the importance of cricket skills at the core of its success,” Chaudhry added.
Mr. Khalid zarooni, vice chairman of the Emirates cricket board was looking forward to the new tournament: “ We are very proud to sign this deal. And look forward to an annual tournament that is entertaining .”
Preparations for the Ninet-90 Bash are in full swing. Several well-known global business houses and cricketing icons, players are already set to sign on; bringing together a heady mix of iconic cricketing stars and emerging players to be a part of this 90 ball an inning tournament.
The Ninety-90 Bash offers local cricket fans in the Emirates a timely, fantastic, and undoubtedly thrilling tournament.