UAE schools brace for 7-a-side Cricket face-off
A close contest for the school cricketing honours is heating up as the Pepsi Sport Fiesta prepares to host the 7-a-side cricket tournament from Friday. The month-long event will be held at the Global Village in Dubai and forms an important part of the Dubai Shopping Festival activities.
Several schools across the UAE have already registered their squads for the much-awaited inter-school sports extravaganza. These include Al Sadiq Islamic School, Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistan School, Al Diyafah, Indian High School, Arab Unity and Dubai Modern.
“With each passing year, the tournament just gets bigger and better,” Ajit Singh, Coach for Indian High School, runners up in last years under-18 Pepsi Sport Fiesta Cricket final. “Cricket is a rapidly growing sport and events such as these provide the ideal platform to showcase upcoming young talent and capabilities the of a school squad to perform as a strong team.”
Now in its third year, the Pepsi Sport’s Fiesta’s cricket tournament will see two broad categories – Under 18 and Under 15 – vying for the championship honours. The first match of the event begins this Friday with Al Sadiq Islamic School taking on Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistan School in the Under 18 category while, in the Under 15 division, Al Sadiq School will battle it out with the Indian High School.
As per the rules of the limited-overs game, all matches will be played in a league format with 10 overs a side and seven players in each squad. Each team has five bowlers, with a maximum of 2 overs per bowler. Wicketkeepers are not allowed to bowl.
Each winning team receives three points. If a team gets their competitors all out in 5 overs, they will receive 2 bonus points. If a team wins without losing a single wicket, they will get 2 bonus points. The team with the maximum points is the winner.
“Due to the competitive nature of limited overs cricket, spectators can expect plenty of edge-of-the-seat action. The stakes are high this year and each team will be keen to put in their best performance from the first minute,” said May El-Labban, Key Accounts Manager, Sales and Marketing, Dubai Refreshments Company (DRC), the sole franchisee and distributor of PepsiCo products in Dubai and Northern Emirates.
Last year’s winners Arab Unity School will be looking to consolidate their leadership position in the game once again. In the previous tournament, they cruised to a convincing victory over Indian High School to take the 2006 title. This year, both schools have fielded their squads in the two divisions.
In collaboration with the UAE Schools Federation, the Pepsi Sport Fiesta features around 30 intermediate and high schools in the cricket, basketball and football tournaments. Next week will see the start of the junior and senior cricket tournaments. Registration for Pepsi Power ball and Slam Jam is open to children of different age groups and will start on January 19.
With ongoing competitions for visitors, Dubai Refreshments Company (DRC) offers opportunities for all to win additional prizes that include MP3 players, mountain bikes, a battery of “creative” premiums, and entry vouchers from Wild Wadi throughout the Pepsi Sport Fiesta. More information can be found at the official website www.pepsisportfiesta.com.
For close to half a century, DRC has supported the initiatives launched by the Government of Dubai that have helped firmly establish the emirate as one of the most exciting destinations in the world.
The Pepsi Sports Fiesta is co-sponsored by Wild Wadi and ETRI.