Desert Premier League T20 An estimated 48 teams are to take part in the city’s largest cricket tournament, which begins its second season at the beginning of December (exact dates will be confirmed nearer the time). This year will offer a huge cash prize to the winner, which the organisers claim will be the biggest ever given in the UAE during a cricket tournament. So far, teams from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kuwait have confirmed their participation, but spaces are still open for new sign-ups and the tournament describes itself as a great platform for corporate teams to rub shoulders with both local and international professional cricketers. ‘Basically it is for average players and teams who cannot play in major tournaments,’ explains director and organiser Moin Mohammed. ‘Teams will be registered with the Sharjah Cricket Council for the tournament,’ he adds, with the aim to help promote unrecognised talent and promote interaction among the UAE’s cricket lovers. For more information email email@example.com or visit www.dpltwenty20.com.
Duplays recreational leagues This social sport organisation runs cricket leagues throughout the year, with the next one, T20 Warriors V, starting on Monday 16 September and running for eight weeks until Wednesday November 27. The men-only competition will take place on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Dubai Modern High School in Nad Al Sheba. www.duplays.com (04 447 2394).
ICC Academy Home to the largest indoor cricket facilities in the Middle East, the academy regularly hosts top-standard indoor competitions, with events and competitions held throughout the year. The Summer 2013 tournament takes place in mid-September and is open to 12-man corporate and recreational teams to take part in the eight-a-side event. In terms of coaching, while the academy deals mainly in under 18s coaching, any adults interested in taking up lessons are encouraged to pre-register. Dubai Sports City, www.iccacademy.net (04 448 1355).
Popular spots for casual (free!) play Anywhere with lots of wide open space can be turned into a makeshift cricket pitch. Check out the large expanse of grass behind the villas which line the back road from Springs 7 (near Choithrams) to Meadows 9 in the Emirates Living area. Meanwhile, the grassy area lining the Creek on Bur Dubai side, between the British Embassy and Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, is often inhabited by casual players, while Kitesurfing beach in Umm Suqeim offers plenty of open sandy space for matches.