GOING OUT: Inaugural Arabian Cricket League ready for action
The TNT Arabian Cricket League (ACL) gets going on Tuesday evening, with 16 teams ready to do battle for the honour of becoming inaugural champions of the tournament.
The Twenty20 league was open to local corporate and club teams, and is hosted at the ICC Global Cricket Academy in Dubai. Running from Tuesday until December 29, the 50-day league will see each of the teams entered into a four-team group, where they will play eachother twice, and the winner of the group will play in the semi-finals.
Monday - Thursday each week are game days, with matches taking place from 7:00pm - 10:30pm. Spectators are encouraged to come down and sample the action free of charge, watching the 16 teams battle it out for the winning cheque of Dh15,000, and a gleaming new trophy.
The runner-up will receive a cheque for Dh7,000, while the two losing semi-final squads will receive a year’s subscription to Sport360°.
Monday's draw saw the four seeded teams, Phoenix Medicine, Yogi Group, Fly Emirates and Interface Transworld, split into separate groups, while the other 12 teams were entered into an open draw.
Salman Hanif, Operations Manager of ICC Global Cricket Academy, spoke after the draw of his belief that the tournament would give every participating team the chance to show exactly what the can do.
“There will be 51 matches over 50 days, and the most exciting part is that each team has the chance to bounce back from a defeat as they play twice against the other three teams in the pool stages.We’re looking forward to a very exciting tournament.
Asked why there isn’t a quarter-final stage, with only the top team progressing from the group, Hanif stated that while that format is under consideration for next year, this time around the inaugural tournament will follow the proposed format as time constraints were a factor.
“Enough opportunity has been given to each team in the group, as they will be playing a total of six matches in the pool stage. “Playing twice against eachother, they will either be good enough or not good enough, and there’s plenty of opportunity to show that."
The event takes place at the spectacular ICC facility in Dubai Sports City, which is a 50-million square foot development being built around five sporting venues.
Spectators are welcome to attend any of the action taking place over the next two months free of charge.
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What: The TNT Arabian Cricket League.
Where: ICC Global Cricket Academy, at Dubai Sports World, on Emiraes Road next to Dubai Autodrome.
When: Starting on Tuesday evening and running until December 29, spectator entry is free.