Founded in 1969, Darjeeling Cricket Club has been a key part of the expatriate cricketing scene for over 50 years.
The Club was originally based on grounds made available by the then Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid, with our grounds, clubhouse and bar were on Al Khail Road, adjacent to the Dubai Exiles rugby ground and Dubai Country Club up until 2008, we then spent over two years playing occasional matches at Zabeel Park and other grounds as we searched for a new base. In Jan 2011 we resumed playing regular Friday cricket at Sharjah English School (SES) on a newly-laid astroturf wicket with a grass outfield. In Jan 2013 we moved to the county-standard turf pitches at the ICC Academy in Dubai Sports City whilst occasionally using other locations, on an ad-hoc basis.
We now play our home matches at the ICC Academy in Dubai Sports City as well as many DSL League Matches at the Sevens Cricket ground. Both of these facilities deliver county-standard turf pitches. We play regular fixtures against local teams, touring sides, itinerant ships, and host the annual GCC Cricket Sixes tournament.
Most good cricketers in the UAE have probably played for us or against us at some point, including several members of the NZ team of the ’90s. We also have a proud history of youth development, including many juniors into our sides and coaching several school teams. We also hosted several Emirates charity matches and coaching sessions with the likes of Rod Marsh, Joel Garner and Mike Gatting, and assisted the UAE youth team.
Many of our members have played quality club cricket in their home countries, often elsewhere too. For cultural reasons we are selective about membership, and as a private club, reserve this right. Every member of Darjeeling, including the Committee members, pays a membership fee and we do not employ professional cricketers.
Lately the Club has seen a resurgence with an influx of new members complementing our roster of 60+ expats with long tenures, and a year-round fixture list. We deliver value for money to our members by delivering regular match fixtures, social events and cricket tours, throughout the year. Our matches are mostly 20/25/30-over matches and a few 40s on Fri. and/or Sat. afternoons. In addition, we hold a practise net every Tuesday. evening from 8-9 pm at the ICC Academy.
We are known in UAE cricket circles for our heritage and for playing honest cricket in the spirit of the game. The Club also has an active social aspect with beverages after nets and matches, a pub quiz team, tables at testimonial dinners for international cricketers, group trips and tours to international matches, periodic evening socials, an Annual Awards Dinner and an Annual General Meeting.
We tour selectively and are one of a few teams to have participated in the Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes in Northern Thailand for 32 consecutive years. In 2014 we had our best performance there ever, winning the Bromley Shield against the Clifton Hill Stray Cats from Australia.
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