Due to extreme hot weather conditions in summer, cricket activities run from late September until the end of April. In early nineties, there are more than 30 'A' (senior) and 'B' (junior) division teams registered with the ACA. But over the years, as the expatriate cricketers left Al Ain, the number of teams gradually reduced to almost half now.
Clubs/teams and their players are required to be register with the ACA at the start of the cricket season to participate in various tournaments. Asmentioned earlier, there were more than 400 players registered with ACA comprisin mainly of Pakistani, Indian and Sri Lankan expatriates with a few from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and some UAE nationals. When ACA was formed in 1989, there were five cricket grounds in Kuwaitat District near Hilton. But in early 2000, the grounds were re-located on Mazyad Road near Coca Cola factory. ACA now has four full cricket grounds with cemented pitches, one of these equipped with flood-lit lights for night cricket activities, that can be seen on your left side as you drive from Hilton round-about on Mazyad Road, 2 km further away from Bawadi Mall (going towards Mazyad). The grounds are full of cricket activity with players and their supporters over the weekends during the cricket season.
The ACA manages all the matters related to cricket from conducting tournaments to inviting teams from other emirates, dealing with disciplinary or any other cricket-related disputes and ensuring that this gentleman's game is played in the best of spirit and players follow code and conduct of cricket.
Usually, there are five major tournaments held during the season starting with ACA Winter League, Jinnah Cup, Nehru Cup, Al Faraa Ramadan Tourney and Al Ain Summer League in which both 'A' and 'B' division local teams and teams from other emirates participate. All tournament matches are officially supervised by umpires appointed by the ACA tournament committee. Besides these local tournaments, the ACA selects its own teams of talented players to represent in various other tournaments in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.
One of ACA's aim to promote cricket is to encourage young budding players by conducting coaching sessions at the cricket nets (with light facility) at the grounds.. In the past, ACA under-17 has reached the semi-final of under-17 cricket tourney played at Sharjah comprising under-17 teams from the schools in UAE. ACA under 17 and under-13 teams comprehensively beat both their opponents from Shrjah Cricket Academy supervised by ex-Pakistani National Coach and captain Mushtaq Mohammad. It was a great boost for Al Ain cricket. And another great accomplishment was when 3 young cricketers from Al Ain were chosen to represent the UAE Under-17 team which took part in ICC Asia Youth Cup held in Pakistan.
All this goes to show the commitment and talent the youngsters have here in this oasis.
The ACA management comprises of the President, Senior Vice President, Vice President General Secretary, Finance Secretary, Tournament Secretary and an Assistant Tournament Secretary. All the office bearers work on a voluntary basis and are elected for a two year period. The ACA committee is extremely fortunate to have Dr. J. R. Gangaramani, CEO of Al Faraa Group of Companies, as its President who has tremendous contributions towards running cricket affairs in Al Ain. Dr. Ahmad Tariq Ansari, who has sincerely served the ACA for the past two decades holds the Senior Vive President while Mr. Khalid Murad, Vice President, Mr. Hiren Kansara, General Secretary and Mr. Nasir Butt, the tournament Secretary, form the rest of the ACA Management committee.
Tournament matches have been given sports coverage during the season by all English newspaers in UAE especially Khaleej Times, Gulf Today, Gulf News and The National and alaways supported our players performances and let the sports readers know that cricket is very much alive in Al Ain.
Unfortunately, unlike Abu Dhabi and Dubai, there is scarcity of sponsors for cricket activities in Al Ain. It is an uphill task to attract sponsors due to Al Ain's limited commercial enterprises as compared to other emirates. Sponsors like Al Faraa Group of Companies, Moazzam Stores, Haji Ibrahim, UAE Exchange, Aero Asia, Ex-Pakistan Air Force pilots, Nazim Group of Companies in Al Ain, SK Group of Companies and Dubai Event Management have offered support over the years to cricket activities in Al Ain. Al Faraa Group of cmpanies has been the main sponsor of major tournamets and there is no doubt that without Al Faraa's support, ACA would have found extremely difficult to run cricket activities in Al Ain. If more sponsors could come forward it would help a great deal in grooming the young talented kids and who knows they may represent UAE national team one day. Despite our limited resources, we are trying to keep Al Ain Cricket flag up.
For any further information on Al Ain Cricket please do not hesitate to call:
Dr. Ahmad Tariq Ansari
Senior Vice Prsident ACA