One of the most striking features of Qatar is the diversity of residents in the country, and many expatriates among them come from South Asian countries.
The expatriates from countries such as Indian, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka bring their love for different sports to Qatar – a country that is known for its support for all sorts of sports. But cricket is easily the most popular and loved sport among people from South Asian countries.
Different community organisations organise cricket tournaments here from time to time.
Cric Qatar Champions League is one of the biggest community cricket tournaments in the country. The opening ceremony of the 5th edition of the league was recently organised along with a music gala. As many as 48 teams will vie for the coveted trophy this year.
The opening ceremony also saw an entertaining musical performance by nine Doha-based singers and artistes. The noted singers were namely; Mohinder Jalandhary, Javed Bajwa, Mohammadd Maqsood, Wakas Amjad, Junaid Jamshed and a renowned poet Shaukat Ali Naaz.
Hosted by HIQ Group, the event is expected to attract some of the most talented players from Qatar. The teams will field their best players for the tournament that will continue for over nine weeks. The limited-overs tournament will see the teams divided in eight groups. Knockout stages will follow, starting with the pre-quarter finals. All the matches will be played on Fridays. The tournament will be held at various grounds located in and around Doha.
The opening ceremony was attended by around 200 players and spectators. The chief guest of the event was M S Bukhari, an eminent Indian businessman and philanthropist. Mohd Nabi, Vice President of Indian Sports Centre, was a guest of honour on the occasion. The guests were felicitated with a memento and shawl by the organisers.
“It is the most prestigious tournament and the biggest cricket bash, taking place every year in Doha. This is also one of the most viewed cricket event in Doha. We will certainly be streaming online the most important matches of the league,” said Syed Rafi, chairman of Cric Qatar, while talking to Community.
He further shared: “I am also planning to start the shortest form of the game – T10 League – on a bigger scale in Doha in coming months, to showcase and enhance the local talent. My intention is to take T10 to another level. For this purpose I am in talks with different sponsors and supporters. The large Asian expatriate population can potentially look ahead to showcase their talent in these kind of tournaments.”
Speaking on the occasion, M S Bukhari said: “Cric Qatar Champions League is a unique tournament with numerous teams of expatriates from the sub-continent participating in it. The most exciting feature of the torment is that its semi-finals and the final will be live streamed and all cricket lover will be able to watch the matches will sitting at home.”
Congratulating Syed Rafi for his dedication and commitment in promoting cricket in Qatar, Bukhari said: “We hope that the tournament will expand to include more teams in the future.”
Mohd Habeebun Nabi said: “The excitement and energy are palpable and unimaginable. These kinds of tournaments are known for the strength of the players and their selection of shots. Cric Qatar is indeed one of the most popular cricket tournaments in Doha. All the matches will be scored live on Cric Qatar App.”
He added: “The efforts undertaken by Syed Rafi in promoting cricket in a professional manner are laudable and I wished all the best to the participating teams.”
“Cric Qatar is excited with the response to this competition and we are very happy to bring in a structured tournament to Doha’s local talent with great prizes to play for. The standard of cricket has surpassed our expectations, the earlier tournaments showcased the passion for this game in,” said Mukarram Hussain, member of Cric Qatar organising committee.
This year, the tournament is sponsored by Dana World Contracting Company, Henkel, Polybit, Indian Spices Hyderabadis Restaurant, Laundry me.
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