By Mudassir Raja
It goes beyond any doubt that Qatar is fast becoming a hub for international sports events. The fame of Doha as a venue for sporting events has spread all over the world.
Crescent Cricket Club (CCC) is an India-based sports club that has been organising cine celebrities’ cricket matches sine 2011 with a new social cause every year. The club is all set to bring in a film stars’ T20 cricket match in Doha in March next year.
This was announced yesterday during a press meet that was organised at Raddison Blu Hotel and was attended by some well-known Indian film industry faces. The film actors present on the occasion were namely; Tushar Kapoor, Rajpal Yadav, Rahul Dev, Bala Kumar, Vivek Gopan, John Kappallil and Rajeev Pillai. Prominent Indian community members, and representatives of different Doha-based cricket organisations attended the press meet.
Speaking on the occasion, Shakeel Shafi, chairman of CCC, expressed his excitement about organising the star-studded cricket match first time outside India and it is going to be in Qatar. “We have been here to do our study work for the match and we have found Doha the fit place to organise a cricket match having two teams, consisting of different Indian cinema stars. We have observed that Qatar has aggressively been supporting sporting events in the country. We have also come here to promote both cricket and Indian film stars.
“In India, we have been holding such matches only for charity purposes. Through these matches, we have been trying to promote diversity of India as actors from different film industries come together and play cricket. In Qatar, we are not going to hold the match for the charity but to entertain the residents of Doha. We are in the process of obtaining the official permission from the government and the related sporting body to hold the match. Once we got the permission, we will announce the date and venue for the match.”
Sharing the details of the two prospective teams that will take on each other, Shakeel said: “Our team from North India will be captained by ace actor Suniel Shetty and the other team will be headed by actor Bala Kumar from Kerala.” He thanked all the sponsors and the local cricket associations for supporting his club in making the upcoming match possible. He added that people from all corners of India live and work in Qatar and they will get an exclusive opportunity to see film celebrities playing cricket.
Addressing the gathering, Tushar Kapoor said: “The CCC has been organising celebrity matches regularly since 2011. This is going to the first match at an international venue. The match will attract more spectators promoting both sport and culture. I am very excited to go to the match where film stars from all over India will be present. It is going to be great coming over here. We are here to figure out how the rules and regulations will work for the planned match. I urge on the Doha residents to make the event successful. This is my first trip to Qatar and hope to come back soon.”
Expressing his views, Rajpal said: “This is my second visit to Qatar and I have received same kind of love and affection here. I am witness of the CCC cricket matches from 2011. It has actually brought different film industries together. It has actually promoted south Indian movies in north of the country.
“Both sports and entertainment carry a lot of strength in pulling people together. Sports keep you fit and healthy. It help create real combination of body and mind. Sports also help improve better communication between different peoples and communities. Both entertainment and sports should flourish in every corner of the world to make the lives of people better. I am thankful to the organisers for inviting me here. Qatar seems like home and I hope the celebrity match is going to be a big success here.”
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