Abu Dhabi Cricket Boss Enam-Ul-Haq Talks About His Start And Future Of Game in UAE
ENAM-UL-HAQ has been the General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council, since 1993 and his current stature within the cricket fraternity in Abu Dhabi sees him as the perennial general secretary or, as current ADCC President WAJAHAT HUSSEAIN calls him, “Abu Dhabi cricket’s Rock of Gibraltar.” Enam talks with the GULF NEWS' M. SATYA NARAYAN about his start in the game, the foundation of the local council and what the future holds for the game in the UAE.
Q: Can you briefly take us back to how it all started for you in cricket and how you became a cricket administrator?
Enam: Cricket is my passion, which is a very common cliché. It is in my soul, if I may say so. I just wanted to play and serve cricket. I started playing here in local matches and in-house events, and it was in 1988 that a few cricket enthusiasts came to me to help organise a game between a visiting Punjab XI team that consisted of Test greats like MAJID KHAN, SALIM ALTAF, INTHINKHAB ALAM, WASIM RAJA and AZHAR KHAN. We formed a group and staged the game which attracted over 10,000 fans and it started from there.
Q: What was your role in the formation of the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council?
Enam: As a group we convinced OMER YOUSUF to take over as the first president while UAE national SYED ATIQ was the chairman. Atiq’s interest in helping the game of cricket in Abu Dhabi was a major foundation, and he played a significant part to make cricket what it is today in Abu Dhabi.
Q: What about the infrastructure then and the progress so far?
Enam: Initially we faced a lot of difficulties; no ground, no proper pitches, virtually no facilities. But we had a lot of people in Abu Dhabi who were so passionate that it was possible to dream.
Q: How do you see cricket evolving in the UAE over the next ten years?
Enam: The UAE has already been knocking on the doors of having ODI [One Day International] status. I would be very happy to see the UAE become a full member with ODI status. With the UAE hosting so many Test-playing countries and with many ICC and Asian Cricket Council events taking place here, cricket in the UAE is now the leader in cricket in the region (GULF NEWS, 7/7).