The four-month-long season of local community cricket is finally approaching its conclusion with the big match set for coming Saturday. Likely to be watched by a great number of spectators from the local Pakistani and South Asian community living in Al Khor and Doha, the Sohni Dharti Pakistan Cricket League (PCL) T20 tournament’s final match is scheduled for January 7.
Followed by a grand prize distribution ceremony, the final T20 match of the 5th edition will be played between the teams of Gilgit Elevators and Lahore Qalandhars. The organisers have changed the rules and format of regular cricket matches and each side will have 16 players in the team.
The Sohni Dharti PCL 2016 comprising six teams was styled on the popular Pakistan Super League (PSL) cricket tournament. Five teams in the tournament were named after the five PSL franchises representing the five capital cities of Pakistan. However, the Sohni Dharti PCL 2016 also featured Gilgit Elevators.
“It is one of our flagship events and we are again expecting a large number of people to show up at the stadium to support their respective teams. The venue has a capacity to hold over 500 people and we are expecting a packed stadium,” Rana Anwar Ali, the Chairman of Sohni Dharti told Community.
One of the most prominent community organisations of Pakistani expatriate in Qatar, Sohni Dharti Al Khor, the organiser of the tournament, is also holding a colourful closing ceremony and prize distribution on Saturday after the final match of the tournament in Al Khor.
There will be food stalls set up by the members of the Al Khor community where the spectators and the people coming to see the ceremony will taste home-cooked Pakistani food.
“The stalls will be established by the members of the community where they will sell the home-cooked food. People who wish to set up a stall at the event can contact us before January 6 so that arrangements can be made,” said Ali.
Pakistani ambassador Shahzad Ahmad will be the chief guest at the occasion. Pakistan embassy Community Welfare Attache Hafiz Junaid Amir and other senior Pakistan embassy officials, besides heads of local Al Khor clubs, will also attend.
The hotly contested tournament was witnessed by scores of cricket-lovers residing in Al Khor community and outside. Sohni Dharti had launched the cricket extravaganza in style too. The four-month-long season of Twenty20 cricket started in October last year.
The league matches started on the first Saturday of October and were played between the six competing teams on every Saturday of the month. The semi-finals were held late last month. Lahore Qalandars and Gilgit Elevators won their matches to qualify for the final. The Elevators showcased their top form in the tournament and remained the board leaders.
In the final, both teams will play 20 overs each and the match will start at noon on Saturday at the New Football Field Al Khor.
Sohni Dharti has invited members of the community with their families to show up at the stadium to support their respective sides on the big day.
“We have arranged food stalls for the spectators to enjoy a favourite game with tasty food items placed by our community members. For ladies, a separate seating arrangement has been made,” said Ali.
Sohni Dharti is one of the most active community organisations, regularly holding events for their members and the members of the community including food festivals featuring traditional Pakistani cuisine.
The main objectives of the Sohni Dharti are to promote cultural, social and sports activities for residents of Al Khor community, develop the talents of Pakistani children in education, culture and sports, contribute in welfare and development of the community, especially to promote the preservation of environment of community and surroundings and integrate Pakistani people with other nationalities of Al Khor community.
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