TACK CREATES HISTORY WITH A STUNNING FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS, MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT PACKED T20 CRICKET!
Pakistan seals a comfortable win over India to win the inaugural TACK-IIK 4 Nations Cup
Friday 15th November 2013 was an eventful day for the cricketing world with the god of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar playing his last international innings. While that is something that saddens the cricket fans all over the world, Teams Association of Cricket in Kuwait now famously known as TACK announced its arrival on the cricketing world stage in some style by collaborating with indiansinkuwait.com and creating a grand spectacle of lights, music, sound, and of course entertainment packed T20 CRICKET.
Under a beautiful blue sky with white fluffy scattered clouds, cricketers, families and friends flocked to the lush TACK Entertainment City Cricket Ground in Doha with everyone geared up for the TACK-IIK Four Nations T20 Festival between Kuwait, India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka. The venue was well-prepared for the day’s events. From the Corporate Guest enclosure to the family and bachelor sections and the grass banks, the seating and green stretches were ample for the guests to make themselves comfortable and enjoy the scenic day out. The Red Bull DJ platform resonated music from all four nations of Kuwait, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as the crowd danced away.
TACK has been operating since 2009 and their Doha Entertainment City Cricket Ground is also undergoing regular tournaments, bank leagues and children’s academy since August 2013 etc but what happened on Friday was the official opening ceremony of the facility which was truly spectacular leaving the cricket fans all over Kuwait completely stunned. Weather gods seemed to be smiling on the most memorable day in the history of Kuwait’s domestic cricket as the first match between Kuwait and India was played in bright sunshine with India winning the toss and electing to bat first scoring 140 runs with Usman being the top scorer with 28 runs under his belt. Kuwait lost early wickets in the chase while Sibtain Raza kept fighting hard with a mature innings of 64 runs taking the teams total to 122 runs. As a result, India won the match by a comfortable margin of 18 runs and qualified for the finals. The second match was played between Asian giant Pakistan and Sri Lanka with Pakistan emerging victorious by 5 wickets thanks to Khalid Butt’s sizzling knock of 95 runs off 59 balls chasing down Sri Lanka’s total of 150 runs with a few overs to spare only to setup a scintillating prospect of an India vs. Pakistan final. Before the finals could commence at 6pm under international standard flood lights, a 3rd & 4th position match took place between Kuwait & Sri Lanka. The home team led by Mr. Mahmoud Abdullah (the patron in chief of TACK) put up a spirited effort against the competitive Sri Lankans but eventually lost the game by 1 wicket leaving tens and hundreds of Sri Lankan fans singing and dancing away in joy of their teams 3rd place victory.
As unanimously agreed by cricket fans all over the world it does not get bigger than a Pakistan-India final. A big match of such stature deserves an equally glittering and prelude. This is where TACK and Camco global events astounded all present with a crazy show of lights using sky trackers, moving heads & beams, welcoming the Pakistani team and the Indian team in front of a capacity crowd of more than 3000 people to national anthems and other patriotic songs. Indian Captain Sanal Govind won the toss and elected to bat first. Khushroo Wadia opened the innings with Alwyn and played an impressive knock of 29 runs with an overall partnership of 32 runs. After the opening partnership was dismantled, Indian batsman struggled to capitalize on Pakistan’s quality bowling with the trio of Kashif Azmat & Rizwan picking up two wickets each and restricting India to a below average score of 126 runs. It was only a matter of time before the devastating batting line up of Pakistan went berserk in front of thousands of dancing and singing fans. Amir opened the innings with the captain of the Pakistan team Khalid Butt and smashed some of the biggest sixes ever to be witnessed in Kuwait’s cricketing history. Khalid then got out for 24 off 15 balls followed by Abid who got out cheaply for a mere 10 runs. It was then Kashif & Amir who finished the game in style by chasing down the total in only 11 overs – A comfortable victory for the Pakistan team in the end.
Apart from all the dazzling display of lighting, music and atmosphere, it was really heartening to see TACK transcend the borders of class and ethnicities and bring the communities together using the platform of cricket. There were cricket loving South Asians along with Kuwaitis and other GCC nationals enjoying the day with their friends and families. You could see the flags waving and music blaring whenever a boundary was hit or a wicket was taken. TACK also managed to bring back the culture of pitch invasion, something you used to see back in 1970’s and ‘80s with enthusiastic fans holding their flags and running down the ground showing their love for their country, a player or just having a good time. Apart from the adults, kids also had a great time following the matches with great intent while also demonstrating support by face painting their team’s flag.
As the teams hit sixes and fours and clinched wickets, Lloyd, the charismatic MC for the day, provided live commentary for all the spectators on site. Continuing with their tradition of being trendsetters TACK managed another first in Kuwait’s cricket history i.e. live coverage. This was made possible by erecting two massive LED screens with instant replays also being shown with the facility of third umpire being available at all times. Additionally, live streaming of the event was also available online on TACK’s website – www.tac-kuwait.com. Statistics have confirmed that more than 14 000 people watched the TACK-IIK four nations T20 cricket festival live on its website which is a small reflection of the big steps TACK has taken towards reaching out to a target market of more than 1.5 million cricket lovers in Kuwait.
The presentation ceremony was kick started by the Marketing Director, Mr. Sajid Ashraf, addressing the attendees, while appreciating efforts put in by each and every TACK committee member towards the preparations of this mega event. A special thanks was given to Gulf Bank, McDonald’s, Enaya Insurance, Mada, Western Union, Kuwait Bahrain Exchange, Huawei, Schneider, Esselte, Mais Al-Ghanim, Ehsan Dana and MG7, who were all the main sponsors of this historic event, and without their generous support this event would not have been possible. A special appreciation was also conveyed to Al Hafiz Company for their quality print work (printing partner), Abdul Rahman Al Bahar (Power Systems Partner), Kuwait Swedish Cleaning Services Company (Safety & Security Partner) and Al Rashid holding for radios (communication partner). The event was also graced by the presence of some of the most esteemed personalities in the country including the ambassadors of Pakistan & Sri Lanka, deputy chief of India Mission, along with other heavy weights of the business community in Kuwait.
An exceptional contribution by the Patron-in-Chief of TACK Mr. Mahmoud Abdullah was also highly appreciated and applauded by the present members, officials and players as he (The Patron in Chief of TACK) confirmed a cash prize of USD 12,000 to be distributed amongst teams and players as per their final standings in the tournament.
The presentation ceremony reached its peak with the biggest applause of the day at the arrival of TACK’s President Mr. Mohammed Ashraf on to the stage. A facility of such high standards and an event of this stature and magnitude need a visionary, a far-sighted and selfless leader, which TACK is lucky to have in the form of its President Mr. Mohammed Ashraf; he is also the Managing Director of Aroma & Safari General Trading Company and a constant guiding light for TACK. Mr. Mohammed Ashraf was earlier quoted as saying “With this event, TACK aims to gather all communities together and introduce families, friends, children and people of all ages back to cricket grounds, and enjoy an electric atmosphere never witnessed before in the history of Kuwait’s domestic cricket. With all the TACK teams’ support and prayers, the association has been able to achieve the above and deliver what was promised at the inception of TACK”.
The presentation ceremony was concluded with awarding all the teams’ players and officials for their hard work put in during the day. The 4th place Kuwait received a cheque of 2000 USD. The 3rd place Sri Lanka received a cheque of 2500 USD. The runners up India received a cheque of 3000 USD. The winners Pakistan received a cheque of 4000 USD with an additional 1000 USD announced during the presentation to be given away to the Pakistan players by Pakistan Business Council. Best bowler of the tournament and man of the finals were awarded to Kashif Shareef from the Pakistan team who walked away with fantastic prizes including the world’s slimmest phone P6 by Huawei. The best batsman of the tournament & the man of the tournament were given to Khalid Butt who walked away with a Samsung 40 “LED television along with other exciting prizes such as a wireless router with a year connection of 10mbps speed by MADA.
Photo Gallery : Click Here to See the Full Photo Coverage