Celebration of Cricket (COC) 2022 is the new hot topic within the Sri Lankan community in the UAE – a mega six-a-side cricket fiesta that fielded 8 Sri Lankan school teams at the Sharjah International Cricket Stadium for a full day of cricketing action and authentic Sri Lankan fun.
Organised by Finwin Eventz along with Dubai’s #1 Sports Academy, Finwin City Sports Academy, COC ‘22 had the support of many great sponsors that jumped on the bandwagon at the blink of an eye.
The five-over white ball tournament introduced a whole new ‘pink ball concept’ to the mix, adding more spice and excitement to the event. The third over of the game, ‘Finwin Double-Trouble’, named after the main sponsor Finwin EduCampus, was played with a pink ball where every run scored was doubled, and every wicket taken meant a 5-run deduction from the batting team. Teams utilised their best bowlers and ensured their best batsmen were in the middle during that over.
The eight teams that participated in the inaugural COC tournament were St. Anthony’s College Wattala (gold), Isipathana College Colombo , Zahira College Colombo, Maliyadeva Model School Kurunegala, Lumbini College Colombo, International Schools, Rajasinghe MV Colombo, and St. Anthony’s College Wattala (blue).
After a competitive first round, St. Anthony’s College (gold), Lumbini College, Rajasingha MV, and Maliyadeva Model School topped their respective groups and qualified for the playoffs which were played under-lights. However, after a tough battle in the semi’s Lumbini College and Maliyadeva were knocked out of the tournament.
With the arrival of the Hon. Consul General of Sri Lanka, Dubai & Northern Emirates, Mr. Nalinda Wijerathna, and the participation of other distinguished guests such as legendary Sri Lankan Football player and current SL Football Selection committee member, Mr. Naina Mohamed, and Finwin Group Chairman, Mr. Faroon Hamim, the grand final took place between Rajasingha MV and St. Anthony’s College (gold). After a hard-fought finale, the boys in gold succumbed to the Rajasinghe MV attack, as Rajasinghe MV were crowned the Champions of the inaugural COC tournament.
The main sponsor of COC, Finwin EduCampus, announced their new branch that will soon be opened in Dubai. The silver sponsors of the event were Sri Lankan companies, EFL Global, and Thambapanni Restaurant Al Nahda Sharjah, who added colour to the event with their delicious dishes. Redbull joined the party and came onboard as the hydration partner whilst more Sri Lankan companies at heart in Dubai and USA such as Nanotek printing and Spotless were part of making COC a success. Furthermore, leading electronics shop in Dubai OurSouq held a raffle draw for everyone at the event, whilst sports shops J7 and Mids Cricket came onboard as partners as well. Bluechip Sri Lankan companies such as OREL IT, and Anods Cocoa were part of the inaugural COC tournament too.
Sharing his thoughts on the event, Finwin Group Chairman, Mr Hamim stated that; “This is just the start, Celebration of Cricket will only get bigger and better. Our objective was to give our fellow Sri Lankans in the UAE an opportunity to play cricket in one of the most prestigious Cricket stadiums – and I think we achieved that. Now we intend on making this tournament a globally recognised event, and host it in more than one country”