The fourth Sprite Cricket Stars series concluded on Friday with the “Rowdies” being crowned champions after beating Dubai Municipality at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Rowdies took home the Dhs 50,000 tournament prize, with the runners-up receiving Dhs 25,000. Rowdies’ star player Aiyaz Saqib was also named man of the match and received an 18-carat Golden Ball and Bat.
In a ‘Clash of Champions’ exhibition game, former England star Kevin Pietersen took on Pakistan legend Shoaib Akhtar, widely regarded as the fastest bowler of all time.
Omar Bennis, director of public affairs and communications for 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 non-profit organization established by 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.