KUWAIT: 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 the weekend Cricket Bonanza where 6 finals were played out on Thursday and Friday. With more than 100 players, 12 teams and over 1000 strong crowd attendance, the cricket weekend was a huge success with a unique vibrant atmosphere bringing back memories of immensely successful 4 Nations Festival. 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 with the kind of show put up over (10th-11th April) weekend, one cannot wait for the next tournament to start & conclude. 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 feel at home, away from home.
DJ Flames, now an integral team member at TACK finals and a renowned name in Kuwait music fraternity was present playing the latest tunes and perfectly captured the mood and vibe of all the matches and the attendees. The attendees included people from cricket loving south Asian countries along with the locals thus demonstrating the popularity and love TACK-MG enjoy amongst a wide range of communities. TACK Division League 7thedition & MG Division League 1st edition, under the auspices of Touristic Enterprises Company & leadership of TACK President Mohammad Ashraf and Patron-in-Chief Mahmoud Abdullah saw more than 75 teams competing for more than three months spread across four divisions; A, B, C and D depending upon each team’s strengths and standing in TACK rankings. In MG Division League 1st edition, Pak Stallions won the division C championship by beating Hadi Clinic, Division B finals were won by Lahore Badshahs, and division A finals saw the mighty Safety Plus beating Aroma Cricket Club by a comfortable 8 wickets. In TACK Division League 7th edition, the finals on Thursday saw Khalijia and Sawahel Al-Faransiya fight it out for top spot in TACK Division D while on Friday, the top two teams from Divisions C, B and A battled each other to clinch the cup. Division D final on Thursday between Khalijia and Sawahel Al-Faransiya turned out to be a one-sided affair with Sawahel Al-Faransiya comfortably reaching their required target of 152 runs in the 1st over for the loss of just 3 wickets. It was a thoroughly clinical performance with Sawahel Al- Faransiya skipper K.M Ali leading from the front with an all-round performance. He took two wickets for just 16 runs and scored a blistering 40 off 22 balls taking the game away from Khalijia.
Division C final, played on Friday between Boom Boom and Black Mambaz, turned out to be another onesided game. Boom Boom, after winning the toss and batting first could only manage a paltry 121 from 19.3 overs. BIack Mambaz’s bowlers put in a disciplined performance stifling the flow of runs and never let Boom Boom batsmen dominate them. Anjilath and Nithin were the pick of the bowlers chipping in with 3 wickets each. Black Mambaz chased the required target comfortably in the 14th over largely due to Nishad’s brilliant knock of 76 from just 39 balls. Skylark and Channels Media battled it out for top slot in Division B which turned out to be a cliffhanger. Skylark won the toss and elected to field first scoring a formidable 173 runs from their 20 overs. The innings was dominated by Umar Salahuddin who scored a brilliant 61 from just 42 balls setting the innings up perfectly. Useful cameos by Usman (38) and Asmat (26) helped Channels Media setup a daunting target for Sky Lark to chase in the final. Afzal Hamed from Sky Lark put up a strong fight scoring 61 and was ably supported by Abdul Razzaq who scored 36.
However, no one else from the middle order got into the double figures and Sky Lark fell short by 7 runs in the end. By the time Division A finals started, the ground was already buzzing with energy as the crowd had started to build up and preceding matches setting up the atmosphere perfectly. The players were seated in the newly implemented international standard dug-outs that can accommodate as many as 32 players at any given time. Division A finals saw two very strong and consistent teams fighting it out i.e. AMG and Petrofac. AMG won the toss and scored 162 runs batting first. Usman was the chief architect of AMG’s innings with a rapid 63 from just 34 balls and was well supported by skipper Sanal Govind contributing a valuable 34. Adnan Idrees was the pick of the bowlers for Petrofac picking up 5 wickets for just 25 runs. Petrofac batsmen faced a tough task of chasing 164 at over 8 runs an over in the biggest match of the night. There were a few initial hiccups in the chase but Asghar and Mithun held their nerve scoring quick-fire fifties and ensured their team clinches the Division A championship. Adnan Idrees from Petrofac was adjudged Man of the Match for his crucial 5 wicket haul. 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 $10 000 distributed among the finalists.
The runners-up of six finals got $200 cash prize along with a trophy and the winners walked away with $400 in addition to the winner’s trophy. Man-of-the-finals were rewarded $70 along with a trophy as well. Apart from the president, and the patronin- chief of TACK, presentation party also included corporate giants such as the GM & Managing partner of Kuwait Swedish Cleaning Services Company, Asad Aleem Khan, the Operations Manager of STACK group, the sales & marketing manager from Huawei, and the GM of Pro sports, Asif Juzar who provided the trophies & medals as a longtime supporter of TACK. Pro Sports has gone on to become a household name in Kuwait as one of the leading distributors of sports equipment TACK-IIK children’s cricket academy, prized project of TACK management, was also involved in festivities as the registered children were asked to participate in the “Best Cricket Attire” award.
Parents and children were informed in advance to dress up as international cricket athletes including jerseys, hats, wrist bands and any other sports accessory. The winners of this award were given free membership for the month of May at TACK-IIK children’s cricket academy. All the children walked out to the pitch along with the players before the start of Division A finals. Representatives from TACK management debated among themselves to decide the winners and it truly was heartening to see enthusiastic involvement of children as well as their parents. By supporting and initiating such unique community involving initiatives, TACKMG is consistently proving itself to be the most loved and foremost cricket organization in the country. With many more exciting events lined up in 2014 & 2015, including the second edition of KPL and D-TACK Cup; Teams Association for Cricket in Kuwait has ensured that cricket lovers are never short of opportunities, entertainment and of course, action-packed cricket.
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