Dubai Super League (DSL) – an idea discussed in 2011 among some passionate cricketers based in Dubai who wanted to develop and provide a platform for amateur cricketers. A “platform” where they can play in a regulated and competitive environment and showcase their talent. The league transformed from being an idea to reality in 2012-13 with the first edition contested by 4 teams. Since then the league has been expanding successfully with the second edition in 2014-15 comprising 6 teams, and the third edition this season (2015-16) comprising 8 teams. Fourth edition (2016-17) of DSL will feature 11 teams.
The teams competing in the DSL are all self-made teams with individuals from cricket playing countries like Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, England, Australia, and South Africa. All the players are working professionals from varying industries in Dubai and Abu Dhabi who play cricket for leisure over the weekend. Originally all these teams used to book grounds at the ICC Academy or the Emirates Sevens to play a game on Friday or Saturday.
DSL for the first time provided them with a regulated platform that enables each team to play a minimum number of league games before the knock out stages. This ensures that all of them play every weekend as they used to, in a more competitive environment with a more organized schedule. DSL in fact has taken away the random haphazard nature of booking grounds plus the hassle of looking for opponents to play against. This has laid a foundation for developing a league that is growing in popularity exponentially.
The DSL is self-funded, with each player contributing towards its team, which in turn contributes towards the league. All costs for ground bookings, team kits, equipment, match balls, umpires, scorers, and drinks are borne by the players themselves.
Fourth Edition Introduction:
This season the DSL is bigger than ever before with a whopping 120 games. The format provides each team with opportunity to play 23 matches including 20 league games, playoffs, shield and DSL 3rd vs 4th place, and shield and DSL Final. DSL have seen in previous Some exciting matches have already been witnessed and the league is being contested very closely. The teams are evenly stacked up and the competition has been extremely intense.
The 11 teams taking part in the 4th edition of the DSL are Wombats Black, Wombats Yellow, The Cricketers Club (TCC), Darjeeling CC, Loose Cannons, Cool Boys, Standard Chartered, Dubai Stallions, Titans CC, All Stars and Six Pistols. Wombats and TCC have been there from the first edition in 2012-13. The league just keeps growing by the year and our future plans are focused on attracting more teams to the DSL with the aim of making it the most popular platform for budding cricketers in Dubai.
If you are interested in taking part in the DSL next season, or just want to gather more information about the league and how it is conducted, get in touch with the organizers:
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/dsldxb/
Twitter handle: @thewombatsdxb
Season 1- DSL 2013-14:
The first season involved 4 teams – Wombats CC, The Cricketers Club, NBF CC, Booz & Co CC, with the teams playing a total of 15 games over a period of 2 months with The Cricketers Club winning the inaugural edition of the League. Sheheryar Nagaria from Wombats CC was the leading scorer with 185 runs while Farhan from The Cricketers Club and Haroon Ghaus from Wombats CC jointly topped the bowling charts with 10 wickets each. Haroon Ghaus was in his elements with the bat too , scoring 135 runs but was unfortunately not able to lead his Team to victory in the League Final.
Season 2- DSL 2014-15:
The exciting first season was followed up with an even bigger league with participation increasing to 5 teams – Dubai Lions CC joined the 4 teams who had played DSL Season 1. Matches increased to 21 and the level of competition intensified. Matches moved at a frenetic pace and quite often the matches were closely fought with tight finishes. The Finals saw the Dubai Lions playing The Cricketers Club and beating them comprehensively while Wombats CC finished in 3rd position.
Season 3- DSL 2015-16:
The 3rd season saw the league grow in size with participation of 8 teams – 2 teams from Wombats CC (Wombats Blacks, Wombats Yellows – to accommodate the growing membership base of the club), The Cricketers Club, Darjeeling CC (the oldest Cricket club in the UAE), SCB CC, Dubai Stallions CC, HSBC CC and Loose Cannons – playing a total of 64 matches over 6 months from Oct 2015-Mar 2016. The format saw a change with the top 4 teams qualifying for the Semi finals to determine the contenders for the DSL Cup and the bottom 4 playing each other to determine the winners of the DSL Shield. Nearly 12,000 Runs were scored and 500 wickets were taken during the entire league, which speaks volumes about the competitiveness of the League and the caliber of the Players. Syed Owais of The Cricketers Club was the leading run scorer with 622 runs while Haroon Zafar of SCB CC with his wily off spinners bowled his way into the leading wicket taker with 28 wickets at 17.6 runs apiece.