Teams Association for Cricket in Kuwait (TACK) and MG Cricket Club, continuing with their mission of serving and enhancing the game of cricket in Kuwait; successfully hosted and conducted an almost week long Cricket Extravaganza where 9 finals were played out on 19 and 20 February which were followed by the resounding success of a format of cricket which can be referred to as the precursor of modern day T20 cricket i.e. Double wicket championship, referred to as “Do Ka Dum” played over the Hala Feb weekend.
With more than 150 players, 18 teams, along with 30 pairs or “jodis” for the Double Wicket Championship and over 500 strong crowd attendances, this cricket extravaganza week was a huge success with a pulsating and vibrant atmosphere.
The successful completion of these two tournaments i.e. MG Division League and TACK Division League, has further cemented the fact that TACK-MG combo is a name to be reckoned with when it comes to running quality domestic cricket in Kuwait and the fact that TACK members have joined hands with Kuwait Cricket and are now part of the official Kuwait cricket council, one cannot wait for the next offering from TACK International.
Living up to their reputation of setting standards and benchmarks for others to follow, TACK-MG offered the perfect mix of food, music and entertainment packed T-20 cricket to people who turned up in huge numbers to support their respective teams. TACK-MG Division League second edition, under the auspices of Touristic Enterprises Company and the leadership of TACK President Mr. Mohammad Ashraf and Patron-in-Chief Mr.
Mahmoud Abdullah saw more than 75 teams competing for over three months spread across five divisions this year; A, B, C, D and E depending upon each team’s strengths and standing in TACK rankings.
Tempale Q8 won the Division E championship by beating Pondicherry Royals, Division D finals were won by Gulf Cable, Al-Sayer defeated Boom Boom to top Division C. Division B finals saw the Tigers CC comfortable drive past Channels Media and division A finals saw the mighty AMG cruise past Kuwait Eagles’ paltry total of 103 with Sanal Govind being named the man of the finals for his outstanding captains innings and bowling spell.
In Doha-TACK Division League 3rd edition, Division D finals saw Chennai Warriors and Q8 Falcons fight it out for top spot with the former scoring 178 runs from their allotted 20 overs. Q8 Falcons fought hard with a couple of strong knocks but were never really in the game and fell short by 24 runs in the end. Division C final between Desert Knights and The Tigers CC turned out to be another one-sided game.
Desert Knights after winning the toss and batting first could only manage a measly 123 from their 20 overs. Tigers chased the required target comfortably in the 19th over largely due to Niju’s brilliant knock of 68 from just 43 balls.
Division B & A finals had to be postponed due to the unwanted sand storm resulting in the finals being played on February 27th instead. Sawahel Al-Ferensya and Lanka Lions battled it out for top slot in Division B. Lanka Lions won the toss and elected to bat first scoring a below-par 137 runs in 18.5 overs. Only Sanjeeva and Sandun managed decent scores of 47 and 29 respectively. Sawahel Al-Ferensya chased down the total in just 15 overs and as always it was their skipper Ali Hero Butt who was their star performer; smashing 83 off just 44 balls and saw his team home.
Division A finals saw the usual suspects i.e. Aroma and Safety Plus compete for the top honors for the umpteenth time. Safety Plus won the toss and scored 155 runs batting first. Usman was the chief architect of Safety Plus’s innings with a solid 49 and Adnan’s late order blitz helped Safety Plus put on a challenging total. Hassan Arif was the pick of the bowlers for Aroma picking up 3 wickets for just 24 runs. Aroma batsmen faced a tough task of chasing 156 at over 7 runs an over in the biggest match of the season.
There were a few initial hiccups in the chase but Kashif and Ishtiaq held their nerve scoring 51 and 33 respectively and ensured their team clinches the Division A championship. Hassan Arif from Aroma was adjudged Man of the Match for his crucial 3 wicket haul and a quick-fire 25 off just 15 balls. This is the third time in division A finals that Amjad Ashraf proudly led his Aroma boys to yet another win against the mighty safety plus dashers.
Double-wicket championship now famously known as “Do ka Dum” which had Bon Voyage as the platinum sponsor along with Heguru Kuwait which was announced the gold sponsor of the tournament was played across the Hala Feb weekend i.e. 25th, 26th and 27th February and saw 30 pairs fight it out. This form of cricket, introduced in the late 90’s, includes two teams of two players each who are pitched against each other for a limited number of overs.
A player getting out in this form of cricket does not retire but continues to bat but gets penalized a stipulated number of runs for each time he gets out. After 70 exhilarating games, the final was played between the pairs of Zahid & Irfan Bhati and Khalid & Irfan Mughal with the former pair coming out on top after they managed to hold their nerve chasing an easy target of 3 runs in 2 overs only.
The pair of Zahid and Irfan bhatti walked away with 1 000 $ winning cash prize, Khalid Butt and Irfan Mughal were awarded 500 $ for runners up where as the third position of Abdullah Khan & Umer boom boom along with the 4th position of Rishi & Afzal were awarded 250 $ each.
As has become the norm with TACK-MG and the one aspect where they are head and shoulders above any other in terms of serving the game of cricket in Kuwait, the players were rewarded generously with cash prizes worth 11 000 $ that were distributed among the finalists in terms of winners, runners up, best batsmen, best bowler, best all rounder and the man of the finals of all the respective divisions.
The presentation party had the presence of the patron in chief of TACK International Mr. Mahmoud Abdullah along with the business development manager of Bon Voyage Mr. Shah who were both extremely happy to see the arrangements and excitement amongst 100 of players participating in the event.
Sajid Ashraf, the director of domestic cricket and marketing for Kuwait Cricket while conducting the presentation ceremony along with other council members thanked all the sponsors and partners and a special mention was made for Haider Farman, the secretary general of Kuwait Cricket as without his guidance and support, cricket would not be as heavily marketed and promoted as it is today.