By Sports Reporter Doha
It’s cricket season in Qatar. After last week’s World Stars vs Qatar Stars match, another cricket tournament began yesterday.
For the third year in a row, the Nation Cup Cricket championship is being held for expatriates living in Qatar. The tournament is an initiative of Siraj Virani, the managing director of QAD NET QATAR, and is open to all nationalities.
Popular Indian cricketer S Sreesanth inaugurated the tournament at the Old Ideal Indian School premises, where the matches will be held under lights. Virani, a cricket aficionado, said the aim of conducting such a tournament is to let every community living in Qatar enjoy the game of cricket.
Eight teams have been divided into two pools, with top two teams after the league stage qualifying for the semifinals. The final will be played on December 22 at 8pm.
Sreesanth, who has played 27 Tests, 53 ODIs and 10 T20s, said he was delighted to see tournaments such as these being held in Qatar. “I have played a lot with tennis ball in my younger days. It gives you a nice platform to hone your skills. I am sure the tournament will be a successful one,” he said.
Sreesanth, who last played for India in 2011, hopes to make a comeback to competitive cricket soon. The talented fast bowler is serving a ban from all forms of cricket after his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League in 2013.
Though the court has dropped charges against him for lack of evidence, Indian cricket board’s disciplinary committee found him guilty of spot-fixing and banned him for life.
Sreesanth said he has offers to play in the Scotland Cricket League next year and is waiting for Indian board’s approval. “In the new year, cricket is calling me again. I have got good offers from a couple of Scottish clubs to play there. But it depends on whether BCCI gives me permission or not. As far as I remember the ban for me was not to play in the BCCI tournaments and not to represent BCCI. Maybe I will get an opportunity to play there,” the 33-year-old said.
“I want to keep myself fit, which is very important because there will be five days of cricket in a week in Scotland. The offer is to play in the first division league. It’s a team called Glenrothes CC, they got promoted last year. I hope BCCI gives me permission, because Scotland board needs BCCI’s nod for me to play there,” he added.
Sreesanth is also trying his luck at Malayalam movies, with his debut flick called ‘Team 5’ to be released next month. “If cricket does not happen, then I have to keep moving on. There are lots of movies lined-up for me as well,” he said.
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