Cricket greats Shoaib and Pietersen also thrilled spectators in exhibition match at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – 05 December, 2015: Sprite Cricket Stars, the UAE’s official ‘grassroots’ cricket tournament, concluded its fourth series on Friday with a day-long sporting and entertainment event at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The tournament is part of the Coca-Cola Company’s global drive to promote a healthy and active lifestyle, which first launched in 2011.
The final match was contested by the “Rowdies” and Dubai Municipality cricket team, with the Rowdies crowned as champions and winning the AED50,000 tournament prize, with the runners-up receiving AED25,000. Rowdies’ star player Aiyaz Saqib was named ‘Man of the Match’ and received an 18 Carat Golden Ball and Bat, courtesy of Joyalukkas
In a ‘Clash of Champions’ exhibition game, Kevin Pietersen, former England captain, took on Pakistan’s legendary Shoaib Akhtar, widely regarded as the fastest bowler of all time. The tournament’s closing ceremony was attended by representatives from the Coca-Cola Company and SmartLife.
Omar Bennis, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola Middle East, said: “Coca-Cola Middle East is committed to promoting an active, healthy lifestyle and we are proud to see the high levels of public interest the tournament generated over the past six months, with more than 500,000 people engaged. We launched the Sprite Cricket Stars series four years ago to encourage physical activity, and today it is recognized as the UAE’s official grass root cricket program.”
The event also featured the ‘Sprite 24/7 Project’, a cricket initiative launched by the KP24 Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by cricket star Pietersen to help underprivileged teens globally. The ‘Sprite 24/7 Project’ offered young players aged between 16-18 training sessions with a selection of professional players and coaches, including Pietersen, before going on to represent their countries in a global T20 tournament in front of 10,000 spectators at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Sports fans were also treated to live performances by including comedian Rauf Lala, Bollywood actress Riya Sen, Bollywood dancers, music bands, Dhol players, cheerleaders, and other acts.
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