The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 will not see the first ball bowled until Saturday (19 February) when India takes on Bangladesh in Dhaka but cricket fever has been rising for weeks in Fujairah, UAE.
With such a large expat population in the UAE from the Indian subcontinent every Friday a game or two of cricket is played on large dirt areas but in recent weeks the number of cricket games seen in Fujairah has been on the increase.
These amateurs are not playing in any organized competition for prizes but they are playing for the love of the game. The quality of the action is high and the passion for the game is palpable. In many ways, this ‘backyard’ version of the game is cricket at its best.
World Cup Winner
These expats will certainly be following the action in India and Sri Lanka and the fact that it is being played back home gives more incentive to their viewing.
And who do they think will lift high the World Cup trophy on 2 April? The Indians in Fujairah are quietly confident as they have the home ground advantage, their team is currently rated second in the world and the Aussies have lost their gloss. The Pakistanis and Sri Lankans (along with India) have won the World Cup before so they think they’re in with a good chance.
Take a Look
Pictures from a game of cricket played on the hard sand at Fujairah’s Umbrella Beach are in this album.
This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.