Both Abu Dhabi Cricket Council (ADCC) and Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) hope the inaugural Abu Dhabi T20 Community Cup can propel community cricketers towards Team Abu Dhabi programs and the UAE national team as part of its strategy for developing the game in the country.
The inaugural Abu Dhabi T20 Community Cup came to a close on Monday evening as Department of Health beat LLH Hospital Cricket Club in the final at Abu Dhabi Cricket's Tolerance Oval that was also broadcast live on YouTube.
A total of 28-teams took part in the competition that kicked off the community restructuring for cricket in Abu Dhabi, launched at the end of 2021. The new strategic vision for cricket in the UAE capital has at its core a renewed committment to the sport at its grassroots level from ADCC and ADSC.
As well as debuting the new flagship tournament, Abu Dhabi Sports Council also unveiled four new Community Ovals at Abu Dhabi Cricket that are purpose-built for community use and increase the square-footage of cricket-specific surfaces to 115,250 m2 at the multi-sports hub.
HE Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of ADSC, said: "It's fantastic to see community cricket take centre stage once again in Abu Dhabi. The next step in our evolution for the sport in the emirate is to prioritise community cricket, which is why Abu Dhabi Cricket Council and Abu Dhabi Sports Council have committed to the creation of four dedicated community ovals.
"Abu Dhabi's strategic development of world-class sporting infrastructure is aimed at providing our junior and community players with one of the world's premier cricket offerings. The development pathway from junior and community cricket right up to Team Abu Dhabi programmes is now in full swing, and thriving."
Abu Dhabi Cricket Council CEO Matt Boucher hopes that the success of this first tournament on the calendar will provide opportunities that go on to benefit UAE cricket at all levels.
Boucher said: "One of our key priorities for 2022 onwards is to improve our ability to host competitive - and uninterrupted - junior and senior cricket tournaments at Abu Dhabi Cricket, whilst we are hosting international events. The recent infrastructure commitment from Abu Dhabi Sports Council is critical to this vision, allowing us to now function over seven top class dedicated cricket surfaces at the same time.
"Our new vision started with the Abu Dhabi T20 Community Cup and now rolls into the remainder of our seven-tournament community season, with the pathway open for our community to realise their dreams via our Team Abu Dhabi representative programme by participating in T10, T20 and 50-over cricket. From there, we hopefully feed them into the UAE national team."
Next up on the community calendar is the eight-team Abu Dhabi T10 Super Cup, which has a women's tournament for the first time, while the Nations Cup, League of School, Abu Dhabi Ramadan Rumble and Super 60 Sixes are all still to come before the end of the season.
Teams can register for the tournaments via www.abudhabicricket.ae. All teams and individuals, who are not already part of a community team, are welcome to register.