Sixteen teams will compete for the Ibn Ajayan Trophy, a month-long Twenty20 cricket tournament that begins at the Asian Town cricket stadium today.
This will be the second edition of the annual event, that’s held to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan. Ibn Ajayan Projects (IAP), a prominent property management company that manages both Asian Town and Labour City Workers Accommodation projects in Qatar, is sponsoring the event for the second year in a row, being held under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, in association with Pro Event. The final will be played on July 5.
The 16 teams, divided into two groups of eight teams each, will play a total of 63 matches between them, with two matches scheduled per day. Pool A comprises of Centurians, Al Hamra, Warriors, Tusker, Selex, Elite Force Stars, United Challenger and Shining Star, while Master Cricket Club, CBQ, Elite Force, RCC, Shelter Group, Doha Bank, Qatar Super Kings and Shark XI complete Pool B. All the matches will be played in the evening under lights.
“We are always trying to promote the game of cricket in Qatar and this is the second time we are organising this Ramadan cricket tournament,” said Omar Zeidieh, Assistant General Manager of Ibn Ajayan Projects.
“Further, we shall work on organising more tournaments that will have greater echo in Qatar. We hope such tournaments will help Qatar become a regional force in cricket in future. This is a Ramadan gift from Ibn Ajayan projects for all the cricket lovers in the country and we take this opportunity to wish all residents of the State of Qatar a blessed month of Ramadan filled with joy and peace,” he added.
Last year’s inaugural event was contested by 18 teams with Doha Cricket Club winning the trophy. Pro Event, an event management company that specialised in sports events, are the main associate organisers for the event this year.
“We had to prune down to 16 teams this year because of scheduling problems. We hope to have more teams next year,” said Sajjad Mohamed Hussain Chaudhary, Managing Director of Pro Event.
“We have been organising cricket tournaments for the last three years and we plan to host some big international events in Qatar this year which will feature some well-known international cricketers. We shall announce the details soon,” Chaudhary added.
The winning team will get QR50,000 besides the Ibn Ajayan Trophy, with the runner-up side getting QR25,000. There will also be individual prizes for ‘Man of the Match’, ‘Best Batsman’, ‘Best All-Rounder’ and ‘Best Bowler’.
Also present at the press briefing was Abdulrahman Musalam al-Dosari, Director of Sports Affairs Department of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. “This is a very good initiative by the Ibn Ajayan group. Any sport, be it cricket, football or volleyball, is a necessity which should be part of our everyday life. Sport helps in relieving the stress we face in everyday life. We hope to more such community-based events in Qatar,” said al-Dosari.
Among others who spoke on the occasion were Omar Zeidieh (Assistant GM for IAP), Salem Alfuheed (IAP Public Relation Manager), Salem Gar Allah Salem Fuheed Al Maksoor, Manzoor Ahmed (General Secretary of Qatar Cricket Association) and Shabrawi Kahatter (CEO of Network).