SHARJAH: The First Desert Premier League Twenty 20 tournament will kick off on Jan.25.
Organised and sponsored by Infoquest JLT, the event, held under the auspices of the Sharjah Cricket Council, will be played at three venues — Skyline University College, Al Dhaid Cricket Village and Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Addressing a press conference at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Mazhar Khan, secretary of Sharjah Cricket Council, said he was delighted to be associated with Infoquest JLT and the Desert Premier League.
“Sharjah Cricket Council always supports new events, new tournaments. The league will bring in more corporate houses to get into the T20 mode,” Khan told media persons.
Thirty-two teams, divided in eight groups of four each, will take part in the event.
“Each team will play three matches in a round-robin league, with the top two advancing to the knock-out pre-quarters,” said tournament director Moin Mohammed.
All the round-robin league matches to be held during the day will be played on weekends and will be hosted by Skyline University College and Al Dhaid Cricket Village.
Matches from quarter-finals onwards will be played under floodlights at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium and will be held also on weekdays besides weekends. Daytime qualifying matches will begin at 7am with the last match being played at 5.30 pm while the night matches (from quarter-final onwards) will start and 7.30pm. Three matches will be played on a day during the qualification rounds.
Over 63 matches are to be played with the tournament culminating on March 30.
“Two teams from Afghanistan and one from Kuwait have confirmed their participation,” Mohammad added.
“We will be sponsoring three talented teams for this event. We have picked up players who are talented but never get an opportunity to play in a high-level event. These players are basically those who use the soft ball and they will not be charged any fee,” he added.
Open to teams from corporate companies, clubs and individual teams, A Division players will not be allowed to take part in the event, said Mansoor Pasha.
A total prize money of Dhs50,000 is on offer. The winners will pocket Dhs20,000, the runners-up Dhs10,000. The man of the tournament will earn Dhs5,000 with the man of the match, best bowler, best batsman getting Dhs1,000 each.
The main objective of the DPL is to promote the unregistered and unrecognized teams and players, who have the talent and capabilities but go unnoticed.
The organisers said they aim to develop social cohesion and interaction among cricket loving people who do not get the exposure as well as using cricket as a vehicle to enhance self-esteem and increased motivation skills.