Abu Dhabi: In what is a first-of-its-kind event, the UAE’s sports journalists will host a sports meet. They will play the visiting Indian journalists from the Sports Journalists Association of Mumbai (SJAM). This was announced in a press briefing at Abu Dhabi, where the trophy was unveiled by Y Sudhir Kumar Shetty, President, UAE Exchange. During the tour, a three-match Twenty20 cricket series as well as a one-off football game will be played. The tour is planned from 18th to 24th September, 2015.
Titled the ‘Media Ashes,’ the 7-day tour is sponsored by the UAE Exchange and co-sponsored Danube Home, Shyam Bhatia Cricket for Care, Kerala Thanima, Red Bull and Almarai. It is a unique opportunity for those writing, boardcasting and reporting on sports to get a feel of the action themselves.
The three T20 fixtures will be played at the three major cities in the UAE — Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. Abu Dhabi’s Test venue — the Zayed Cricket Stadium will host the first T20 on 19th September, followed by the second game at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Academy ground in Dubai, a day later. The final T20 game will be played at one of the oldest and most historic venues in cricket — the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on 22nd September. The one-off football game will be held at Al Jazira’s Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium’s training pitch.
Y Sudhir Kumar Shetty, second from left, unveiling the Media Ashes trophies along with AK Satish, Amith Passela, ND Prashant
“We are extremely delighted about this first ever tournament between the UAE and Indian journalists,” Sudhir Shetty said at the press conference on Monday.
“May be a reciprocal series could happen down the line. In any case, there is no better place than the UAE to give it a beginning. The visiting Indian journalists can enjoy the different venues of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah and experience the world class infrastructure here. Such a series will also foster friendship.” Sudhir Shetty added.
He also revealed that Dr B R Shetty, Chairman, UAE Exchange, was excited about the tour. “Dr B R Shetty is very passionate about cricket. And when this idea was mooted, he was more than willing to support the initiative. We would like to wish all the participants of this tournament, the very best.” said Sudhir Shetty. The UAE team will be led by Amith Passela of The National, while Sanjeev Samyal of the Hindustan Times will be leading the visiting team.
Gulf News journalist and event coordinator N D Prashant confirmed that a similar return leg is also planned. “They will be hosting us next year. It is a start and we hope it will continue,” said Prashant.
Amith Passela said, “There used to be one-off games between UAE journalists and visiting journalists during the tri-series in Sharjah, but this was the first time that an organised event is happening.”
UAE: Amith Passela (C), Ahmed Rizvi, Osman Samiuddin, Paul Radley, Jonathan Raymond, Kumar Shyam (Team Manager) (The National), KR Nayar, ND Prashant, Jaiprasad Rai, AK Sathish (Gulf News), Sunil Vaidya, James Jose, Randall Rodriguez (Khaleej Times), Jaideep Marar (Sport360), Fahad Hussain, Jamil Abdul (Radio Mirchi), Gopal Jasapara (Cricketlovers.com), Arshad Hussain (Al Sharq).
INDIA: Samyal Sanjeev Karan (Hindustan Times), Ferro Ashwin Keith (Mid-day), Mayure Subodh Madhukarrao (Mid-day), Tripathi Sudheendra Shachindra (Times of India), Vichare Mahesh Vishwanath (Maharashtra Times), Parikh Moulin Nalin (Asian Age / Deccan Chronicle), Nagwekar Shailesh (Sakal), Pai Vaidya, Nishad Sunai (Freelance Cricket Writer/Anchor), Menon Mohandas (Cricket Statistician), Keni Prashant (Loksatta), Kadam Sandeep Shamsunder (Pudhari Marathi), Kotian Harish Ramkrishna (India Abroad /Rediff.com), Sukumaran Kishore (Cricket Expert / Commentator), Rahul Dixit (The Hitvada), Paritosh Pramanik (The Hitvada), Ajit Bezbaruah (Ahmedabad Times of India), Anand Vasu (Wisden India), Satish Vishwanathan (Bangalore News 9 / Freelance).