The hugely successful star-studded cricket tournament featuring the cricketing legends also showcased Bollywood hotshots – that was broadcast LIVE on Sony Six and Sony Six HD channels
Dubai, UAE and Mumbai, India: Pakistan Legends beat World XI by 14 runs to lift the first Friendship Cup – UAE that successfully concluded at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday, March 7, 2022. Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Faisal bin Khalid Al Qassimi, the first Friendship Cup – UAE that was sanctioned by Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), was a huge success.
At the presentation ceremony, HH Sheikh Faisal bin Khalid Al Qassimi, Chief Guest and the Chief Patron of the Friendship Cup – UAE handed over the Friendship Cup to Champions Pakistan Legends, flanked by a number of dignitaries, including, General Mahesh Senanayake, former Chief of Army Staff of Sri Lanka, Aarefa Saleh Al Falahi, Member of Board of Director RAK chamber, Eng. Aliya Al Kindi, Dr Bu Abdulla, Hamad N Al Hammadi and Head of Organisation Committee, Mr Husaifa Ibrahim.
The organizing team led by Mr Aslam Gurukkal, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Arba Sports Services, Amin Pathan, Chairman of Arba Sports Services, Noufal Qudran, Director Operations, Habib Koya, COO of Arba Sports, Muneer Bin Mohiyadeen, Director Event and Media and Asutosh Pattanayak Chairman and President WSS London and Spokesperson for French Embassy, was also present at the ceremony.
Pakistan Legends piled up 133 for five in their stipulated 10 overs, powered by Salman Butt’s 45 off 20 balls and Mohammad Sami’s 36 off 10 balls. In response, World XI started off well, despite Asghar Afghan’s early exit. Phil Mustard with 50 off 21 balls and Tillakratne Dilshan with 34 off 16 balls looked dangerous after putting up a 78-run partnership and looked like they were in a hurry. A few quick wickets in the following overs due to good bowling by Mohammad Irfan took the game out of World XI’s hands.
With this, the three-day star-studded Friendship Cup – UAE 2022, that features cricket legends including former Indian Cricket Captain Mohammad Azharuddin, Bollywood star Suniel Shetty, former Pakistani cricket sensation Imran Nazir and Sri Lankan star cricketer Ajantha Mendis came to an end. However, this is more likely to be the end of a new beginning for Friendship Cup, that could become an annual fixture in the global cricketing schedule.
Earlier, Pakistan Legends defeated India Legends by 8 wickets to seal a place in the finals in the star-studded three-day cricketing extravaganza that saw some of the cricketing legends re-enter the pitch with ball and bat, years after their retirement.
Pakistan Legends finished the game scoring 111 for 111 for 2 with five balls to spare, in response to India Legends’ 107 for three, in which Mohammad Asaduddin scored 45 runs. Salman Butt top scored with 65 off 30 balls with a strong support from Yasir Hameed who scored 29 off 18 balls. After putting up a 92-run partnership, Yasir Hameed bowed out.
Cricket lovers across the world got to watch the cricketing legends – who created world records and historic milestones in cricket – playing in seven matches from March 5-7, 2022. In the three-day Friendship Cup – UAE, a total of 1,530 runs were scored in just 7 matches, with an average of 218 runs per match, or 1.8 runs per ball – one of the highest run-per-ball ratio in cricket.
“The Friendship Cup – UAE has been an out and out success. We are now encouraged to organize it every year. Depending on the interest of the investors, we could expand the tournament with 6-8 teams on a franchise model that will create a new global phenomenon in cricket where fun and excitement mixes with the Bollywood glamour to create a new brand of crick-tainment,” Aslam Gurukkal, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Arba Sports Services, organiser of the Friendship Cup – UAE, said.
Thanking the sponsors, especially HH Sheikha Obaid Suhail Maktoum for her unending support in offering 5,000 free tickets to cricket lovers, he said, “I thank all the sponsors, members of the organizing team and the media. Following the success of the first edition of the Friendship Cup, we will now start talking to our partners to make it a professional cricket league.”
The Friendship Cup – UAE that brought both cricket and Bollywood fans together as top Bollywood stars went head-to-head with cricket legends at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, the matches were broadcast LIVE on SONY SIX & SONY SIX HD channels.
Amin Pathan, Chairman of Arba Sports Services, said, “This brilliant new chapter in the cricketing world saw cricketing legends play professional cricket long after their retirement. The Friendship Cup – UAE has ushered a new era in the global cricket world where cricketing legends and retired professional cricketers come back to entertain cricket lovers.”
The Friendship Cup – UAE is born in Sharjah Cricket Ground, the home of cricket in the Middle East. The UAE is a country of innovation where sports tourism is also thriving. We are happy to bring a new innovation in cricket – the Friendship Cup – UAE – that is going to boost sports tourism in this country.
Noufal Qudran, Director Operations, said, “It was fun altogether, from an operations point of view where everyone enjoyed, with every boundary or a wicket – the same way passionate cricket lovers cheer from the gallery.”
Four teams – India Legends, Bollywood Kings, Pakistan Legends, and World Legends 11 fought for the Friendship Cup – UAE title. Among the four teams, Bollywood Kings will be led by actor Suniel Shetty and will feature Sohail Khan, Aftab Shivdasani, Saqib Saleem, Shabbir Ahluwalia, Jay Bhanushali and Salil Ankola.
Organised by Arba Sports Services, the Friendship Cup – UAE is supported by Dubai Police, which organised Dubai Police Dog Show.
Hudaifa Ibrahim, Head of Organisation Committee of Friendship Cup – UAE, said, “The Friendship Cup – UAE will popularize the game of cricket among the Emiratis and Arabs – especially those who watch Bollywood movies. It was good to see some of the popular Bollywood stars play cricket at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium – that will bring more crowd to this home of cricket.”
About Arba Sports Services LLC:
Arba Sports Services LLC brings the charm of Bollywood, mixed with the cricketing legends from different parts of the world – to create a great sports-cum-entertainment event where famous Bollywood stars will play cricket with the international cricket starts – who command considerable fan following across the world.