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Sport and Fitness

Ramadan street cricket tournament comes to Dubai

Words by Nathan Irvine

Gillette provide the cutting edge at free cricketing showcase.

Head up to Global Village this weekend for a cricket competition with a difference. Two disused car parks beside the tourist attraction will be transformed into a cricketing arena like no other. And under the floodlights and in front of the fans, this free event will see 32 teams battle it out for supremacy.

The whole thing has been put together in partnership with Gillette. The grooming brand is keen to not only put on this Ramadan spectacle, but to promote cricket and encourage amateur players in the region to become more involved.

 

Mohammad Naveed arms outstretched in his UAE cricket kit as he celebrates taking a wicket.

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Getty Mohammad Naveed is an ambassador for Gillette and the tournament.

A CLOSE SHAVE

Away from the wicket, there’s enough going on to entertain fans long into the night. As well as food trucks and live entertainment, gents can also get a free shave courtesy of Gillette. Don’t worry, we’re assured these session will take place well away from any stray sixes that may take out your barber.

Mohammad Naveed, captain of the UAE’s national cricket team and Gillette ambassador says “The tournament is a fantastic opportunity for the best street cricketers in the region to show their skills on a new level.”

He continues “So many professional players from the subcontinent hone their skills playing street cricket because it’s one of the most difficult forms to play. It’s brilliant to see Gillette offer the best teams in the UAE the chance to be crowned the no.1 street cricket team in the region, and I for one can’t wait to see how the tournament unfolds.”

We spoke exclusively to Naveed about street cricket and its importance in the region.

What impact do you think the event will have on cricket in the region and Emiratis in general?

It’s great to see a brand like Gillette investing in street cricket. It’s a sport ingrained in UAE culture and it’s great to see it getting the recognition it deserves. For sure this will encourage some Emiratis to come forward and try this beautiful game and hopefully this tournament will encourage more young men to pick up a bat and take up street cricket. It’s such an exciting form of cricket and a great way to hone your skills. Who knows, maybe this tournament will open up bigger and better things for some of the teams and players.

How important was street cricket in getting you to where you are today?

Street Cricket has always been the catalyst in the life of every young asian cricketer. The great Wasim Akram played it in Lahore before his success in international cricket. I grew up playing street cricket in Pakistan and then played a lot in the UAE. It is good for the confidence, hand-eye coordination and power hitting techniques, and can definitely improve bowling pace and bat speed.

Who are you backing to win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019?

This World Cup will be really exciting as it is a round-robin schedule and all the teams look dangerous. I strongly believe England has a chance this time because of their combination and batting depth, especially the in-form Jos Buttler and Joe Root Then you have players to watch such as the pace of Jofra Archer, googly wizard Adil Rashid and the experienced Liam Plunkett, it’s easy to see why they’re a complete team and the best contenders for me.

 

The Ramadan Street Cricket tournament gets underway on May 30 and ends with the finals on June 6 and 7. All the action starts from 9pm.

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