Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Chairman of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), sanctioned a new international cricket league, to be branded as ‘Ninety-90 Bash and held in the UAE, as part of an agreement between the ECB and the Sharjah-based Century Events and Sports FZC.
Held in Abu Dhabi on 24th June, 2021, the signing ceremony was attended by Sheikh Nahyan; ECB Vice Chairman Khalid Al Zarooni; Salman Iqbal, Chairman of the ARY Group; Aref Al Awani, General-Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, along with Abdul Rehman Bukhatir, Khalaf Bukhatir of Bukhatir Group, and Imran Chaudhry, Managing Director, Cinergie Group of Companies.
The Ninety-90 Bash will be the first-of-its-kind 90-ball-an-inning annual cricket league, and will take place at the historic Sharjah Cricket Stadium in 2022.
With an aptly named working title, the Ninety-90 Bash, is the brainchild of three leading regional entrepreneurs, Abdul Rehman Bukhatir, Chairman of Bukhatir Group, Salman Iqbal, President of the ARY Digital Network and owner of the Pakistan Super League’s Karachi Kings team, and Imran Chaudhry.
Globally recognized as the pioneer and founding father of international cricket in the Middle East, Abdul Rehman Bukhatir runs an established and diversified business conglomerate based in Sharjah. He has fostered the sport’s growth in the UAE for decades and is looking forward to leading a new era of cricket in the country.
"I have been a part of cricket’s journey here in the United Arab Emirates from the very beginning, and I will tirelessly strive to continue to give cricket a home here, while finding ways to grow the game and keep it healthy," said Abdul Rehman Bukhatir.
Bukhatir added, "This new exciting format will be instrumental in creating a brand-new fanbase for the sport, not just in the UAE, but across the globe." For his part, Iqbal said, "I believe Ninety-90 cricket is just what the game needs. The sport has evolved over the years and the time has come for cricket to take another leap of faith. We believe we have something brand new to offer and the entire team expects the tournament to be a grand success." "The proposed Ninety-90 format will be shorter than Twenty20 cricket, with the aim of making every contest sharp, edgy and action-packed, while retaining the importance of cricket skills at the core of its success," said Imran Chaudhry.
Al Zarooni commented, "We were keenly looking forward to the Nintey-90 Bash League. We are very proud to sign this deal. The ECB looks forward to an annual tournament that is entertaining and exciting." Preparations for the Ninet-90 Bash are in full swing. Several well-known global business houses and cricketing icons and international players are set to sign on, bringing together a heady mix of iconic cricketing stars and emerging players to be part of this 90-ball-an-inning tournament. The Ninety-90 Bash offers local cricket fans in the UAE a timely, fantastic and undoubtedly thrilling tournament.
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