Dubai: Former Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram was on Thursday named as the brand ambassador of 10PL, world’s biggest tennis ball cricket tournament.
The tournament is the brainchild of UAE-based Petromann Events to manage, operate and market the Indian team. Petromann Events, brainchild of Mr Abdul Latif Khan, also known as Arif Khan in the sporting arena. The tournament boasts the highest prize money for tennis ball cricket anywhere in the world and is valued at a total of 250,000 Dirhams.
Mr Akram will be the face of the tournament in the lead-up to the second edition of the tournament, scheduled to be held from 8-15 December 2017. The week-long tournament, will be held like in the first edition at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah.
Mr Akram played for Pakistan from 1985-2003 and formed part of the fames two Ws combination with Waqar Younis. In his time as a player and captain, Pakistan achieved a lot of success on the international stage. The crowning glory of Mr Akram’s achievements was the finish on the podium of the 1992 World Cup under the leadership of Imran Khan.
On his new role, Mr Akram said: “I am delighted to be the Ambassador of the 10PL cricket tournament. All of us in the subcontinent have grown up playing tennis ball cricket on the streets. Some of us have learnt key tricks that have helped us on the bigger stage as well. This tournament promises to be the perfect platform for raw talents to showcase what they are capable. I am really looking forward to this competition.”
Last year a total of 16 teams participated in 10PL and for this year nearly 40 expression of interests have already been received by the organisers for an available 20 spots. This year, the tournament is also expected to attract teams from a number of major corporate houses.
Abdul Latif Khan, chairman, Petromann Events said: “It is an absolute honour to have Mr Akram as the brand ambassador of the Indian team. In the coming days we will be unveiling a campaign with Mr Akram to further raise the profile of the tournament.”
Last year in addition to regular tennis ball cricketers, former Pakistan wicket-keeper batsman Zulqarnain Haider also participated in the tournament. This year it is expected that two former Sri Lankan Test cricketers-Chamara Silva and Thilan Thushara-could also be seen in action.
Speaking about the format Mr Abdul Latif Khan said: “This format is very popular in India & Middle East. Last year we showed that there had never been an event of this magnitude held anywhere in the world with such a huge prize money on offer. I am confident that the second edition will reach even bigger heights.”
About Petromann Events
More than a decade ago a team emerged from nowhere to try their hands in indoor cricket tournaments in Dubai; ateam largely made of blue collared workers.
A man named Abdul Latif Khan also known as Arif Khan was the man behind this startup. A passionate cricketerhaving played moderate level of the game back home in India, Arif Khan was desperate to carry on his love when he came to Dubai in search of greener pastures.
Despite the initial hardship, in 2004, he decided to form the team namedPETROMANN that entered the indoorfacility for the first time. Offered an opportunity to prove their mettle in the ‘D’ Division at Insportz, it was not a smooth sailing for Arif Khan and his team. There were handful of players who were ready to play but could not afford shoes while many of them were not even aware of the rules of indoor cricket.
But with a never-say-die attitude, Arif Khan ensured he kept the spirit of the team high and the results began to show as they emerged champions of that division.
Thereafter it was a fairytale ride for the Petromann as the team quickly rose through the success ladder and found themselves playing in the ‘A’ Division against some of the best teams in the country.
Their fight to excel continued and there was no looking back as the team made winning tournaments a habit. They achieved success in every possible tournament proving their dominance in indoor cricket and earning a huge reputation in the cricketing fraternity.
The team’s face changed rapidly as years went by with several players who represented the UAE National team also being part of the setup. Among those Amjad Javed, Asif Mumtaz, Rohan Mustafa and Qassim were some to name a few.
They went a step ahead bringing international players on full time contract from Sri Lanka to play further strengthen the team. A full-fledged board was formed to further enhance the management of the team that included Usman Manzoor, Sheikh Umar, Riyaz Khan, Sanjay Kuckian, Sheikh Usman and Tanveer Sadekar.
As they grew in status, for the first time in 2013, Petromann found a sponsor in Pacific Ventures for ICC Summer League. Real Estate developer Parvez Khan showed tremendous interest in the team and soon Pacific Ventures & Petromann Group Cricket Club collaborated as the team began playing under the banner of PVCC. This was the firstteam to find a full sponsor in the UAE.
After having achieved so much, Abdul Latif Khan, who also served as the Manager of Cricket Operations for Capricorn Commanders in the Masters Champions League held in 2016, felt it was time to give back something to the game he loved so much.
Wasim Akram named brand ambassador of 10PL