DUBAI 29 April 2019: Cricket, a hugely popular sport among the country’s South Asian expatriates, will be a part of Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament 2019 when it returns for a seventh season in Ramadan with 13 events on the schedule and Dh6 million in prize money.
The NAS Sports Tournament at Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex, is one of the most anticipated events on the country’s sporting calendar and more than 22,000 athletes – including amateurs and international legends like Zinedine Zidane and Falcao, and even Ambassadors and Consul Generals of different countries – have taken part in the tournament over the past six years.
The seventh season of the Tournament, being held under the slogan ‘Unlimited Capabilities’, will start on May 7 with a glittering opening ceremony at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex and curtains will come down on the Tournament on May 24.
The 13 events for this season are – Futsal, Volleyball, Padel, Fencing, Wheelchair Basketball, Futsal for People with Hearing Disabilities, NAS Night Challenge, the 5km and 10km Run, 75km Cycle Race, 3×3 Basketball, Jiu-Jitsu, Cricket and Snowboarding.
Salah Amin, Chairman of the Tournament’s Executive Committee, said: “Last year, we added three new events to the Tournament and this year, in keeping with our promise of involving greater segments of our society every year, we have added cricket and snowboarding to the roster.
“Cricket is a hugely popular sport in UAE, especially among the South Asian expatriates living here. You can find them playing cricket in every nook and corner of this country. They are playing in the day and night, on weekends and workdays, all through the year, even during the summer months. The passion for cricket among the South Asian expatriates is unbelievable and we are really happy to welcome this sport to the NAS Sports Tournament family, especially in this Year of Tolerance.
“Snowboarding, on the other hand, will be a unique experience for participants – an opportunity for them to experience the thrills of competition in a sport that is not such a common sight in this part of the world. So it’s a great opportunity.”
The sporting action will start on May 8 with Volleyball and Padel matches taking place at the NAS Sports Complex, with the NAS Volleyball final scheduled for May 14 and the NAS Padel finale for May 21.
The inaugural NAS Cricket Tournament – featuring 12 teams, divided into four groups, and being played under the 10-over-a-side T10 format – will take place at the Wombats Cricket Ground in DP World (Jebel Ali, Gate 7) from May 8 to 20, while the NAS 3×3 Basketball, popular when it made its debut last season, will be held from May 8-15 at a new venue: The Block in Dubai Design District.
The NAS Night Challenge will take place on a purpose-built obstacle course near NAS Sports Complex on May 9 and 16, while NAS Fencing will start at Shabab Al Ahli Club in Al Qusais on May 10 and the final will take place three nights later, on May 13, at NAS Sports Complex.
NAS Wheelchair Basketball will start at Dubai Club for People of Determination on May 9 and the preliminary matches of the NAS Futsal for People with Hearing Disabilities will take place at the same venue on May 11 and 14, but the final of both events will take place at NAS Sports Complex on May 21.
The NAS Snowboarding competition will take place at Ski Dubai on May 10. NAS Jiu-Jitsu is also a one-day event, scheduled to be held on the penultimate night of the championship, May 23, and the NAS Run is scheduled for May 11. NAS Cycling, meanwhile, will take place across two nights, May 17 and 18.
The NAS Futsal Championship, featuring eight teams and a number of top international stars, will start on May 15 and its final will bring the curtains down on the Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament 2019 on May 24.
The draw for NAS Futsal and NAS Volleyball was conducted on Monday evening, under the supervision of Adil Yousif Albannay, Chairman of the Tournament’s Technical Committee. Dubai 2020, Fohood Zabeel and Surprise were drawn in Group A of the NAS Volleyball Championship, while Dubai 2021, Al Burkan and Bin Thani are in Group B. In the NAS Futsal Championship, Fohood Zabeel, Victory, Al Theyaba and Saudi Driving School will battle for semi-final spots from Group A, while last year’s runner-up Al Bahri have been drawn in Group B along with Dubai Police, Al Tasamah (Tolerance) and Al Taher.
Registration is still open for most of the other events and those interested can do so through the Tournament’s official website: www.nasst.ae. The last date of registration for NAS Wheelchair Basketball, NAS 3×3 Basketball, NAS Fencing and NAS Cricket is April 30, while registration for NAS Night Challenge and the 5km-10km Run will continue until May 6. Registration for NAS Snowboarding and NAS Cycling will close on May 8 and May 11 respectively, while the last date for registration in the NAS Jiu-Jitsu championship is May 20.