UAE's growing reputation as an ideal venue for hosting international cricket events will receive a big boost when the ACC Elite Trophy UAE 2102, organised by the Emirates Cricket Board, gets under way at different venues in the country from October 1 to 13.
Featuring 10 teams, including defending champions Afghanistan, the tournament will provide a chance to Asian Cricket Council's non-Test playing countries member to showcase their emerging talent in a competitive environment.
The decision of the ACC to award the rights of the tournament to the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), which recently hosted the ICC World T-20 Qualifi ers, is a ringing endorsement of facilities of international standards that are on offer in the UAE.
Ashraf-ul Huq, CEO of ACC, lauded ECB for all their enthusiasm and support in organising the ACC Elite Trophy. "The UAE have a proven track record when it comes to hosting international cricket events. And we are delighted to team up the Emirates Cricket Board for the Elite TROPHY which, I believe, will be a great success.
"All teams participating in the event have shown tremendous improvement in their game and it would be interesting to see how they fare. We look forward to a great contest and I wish all the teams the very best," he added.
Mazhar Khan, the tournament director, was equally upbeat about the tournament, saying: "We feel proud and privileged to be playing host. The fact that we are hosting the Elite Trophy after successfully staging the ICC T-20 Qualifiers in March amply reflects on the bonding that we share with the cricket frat ernity.
"We will try and present best possible conditions for cricket and hope all teams will return home with good memories of the event. The tournament has the potential to launch the careers of many emerging talent and hence many new storylines may emerge. We anticipate a great tournament ahead of us," he said.
The participating teams have been divided into two groups with Afghanistan leading Group A which also includes Malaysia, Oman, Bhutan and Maldives while the UAE are placed Group B along with Nepal, Hong Kong, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Matches, starting at 9.30am, will be played in Dubai (ICC Global Cricket Academy grounds 1 and 2), Abu Dhabi (Shaikh Zayed Stadium and Nursery Oval), Sharjah Cricket Stadium and Al Dhaid Village. In all matches will be played before the champions are crowned. Twelve ACC umpires will be on hand to officiate the matches.
Groups and fixtures:
Group A: Afghanistan, Malaysia, Oman, Bhutan and Ma ldives
Group B: Nepal, Hong Kong, UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia
Schedule (games start at 9.30am):
Oct 3 - Afghanistan v Malaysia at Sheikh Zayed; UAE v Nepal at Sharjah; Bhutan v Oman at Al Dhaid; Hong Kong v Saudi Arabia at GCA2
Oct 4 - Hong Kong v Kuwait at Sheikh Zayed, Saudi Arabia v UAE at Nursery Oval, Afghanistan v Oman at Sharjah; Bhutan v Maldives at GCA1
Oct 6 - Malaysia v Oman at Nursery Oval; Kuwait v Nepal at Al Dhaid; Hong Kong v UAE at GCA1; Afghanistan v Maldives at GCA2
Oct 7 - Nepal v Saudi Arabia at Sheikh Zayed; Malaysia v Maldives at Sharjah; Kuwait v UAE at Al Dhaid; Afghanistan v Bhutan at GCA1
Oct 9 - Kuwait v Saudi Arabia at Sheikh Zayed; Bhutan v Malaysia at Nursery Oval; Maldives v Oman at Al Dhaid; Hong Kong v Nepal at GCA1
Oct 10 - Semifinal 2: A2 v B1 at Sheikh Zayed; 7th/8th Playoff: A4 v B4 at Nursery Oval; 5th/6th Playoff: A3 v B3 at Al Dhaid; SF1: A1 v B2 at GCA2
Oct 12 - Final: Winners SF1 v Winners SF2; 3rd/4th Playoff: Losers SF1 v Losers SF2.
Tournament director: Mazhar Khan of ECB
Event's manager: Sultan Rana of ACC.