• Former Pakistan national team captain gives speech on sports leadership
• Special event marks launch of Desert Super League's 10th cricket season
• GEMS students and cricketers of all levels from across UAE in attendance
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: GEMS World Academy – Dubai played host to Desert Super League (DSL) on 10 September 2022, holding a special event on campus to mark the start of the League's 10th season, ‘Footprints DSL X'.
In attendance and addressing GEMS students and players and captains from among DSL's numerous cricket teams was legendary cricketer and former Pakistan national cricket team captain Wasim Akram, one of the greatest left-handed fast bowlers to grace the sport, having taken over 500 wickets in ODIs. He was the man of the match when Pakistan won the 1992 Cricket World Cup, beating England in the final.
Wasim, who also took 881 wickets in all forms of first-class cricket, delivered an inspiring speech on sports leadership and shared his abundant knowledge and advice on cricket strategy – much to the delight of the audience made up of cricket enthusiasts of all ages.
“The UAE has become a cricket destination, not just for us Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans, but also for England, South Africa, all the county teams – they've all come to this country,” said Wasim. “I've been coming here since 1985 and look at Dubai now and where it is today. And the same goes for cricket: the Sharjah stadium has transformed, and of course there's Dubai, Abu Dhabi, the Sevens, ICC… The UAE is truly a cricket hub.”
Wasim added: “Thank you very much for inviting me here, to GEMS World Academy. I believe sports are one of your fortes, and sport is very important, especially team sports, with the triumphs and losses, enabling kids to understand how to come back if they don't do well, how to support their teammates. So, team sports are very, very important for youngsters. I wish DSL all the best. Have fun, play cricket, think cricket, and win those matches!”
Wasim also took part in a lively panel discussion involving fellow speakers Dr Saima Rana, Principal/CEO of GEMS World Academy – Dubai and a Vice President – Education of GEMS Education; Omar Hayat, the owner of DSL; Muhammad Raziq, Executive Director International Operations at Samaa TV; and Hamid Shabir, Co-founder of Footprint Real Estate.
Speaking at the event, Dr Rana said: “At GEMS World Academy, we pride ourselves on educating everyone to the very highest standards and in so doing I never forget the lessons I learnt from watching cricket with my father. We educate our students so they can live happy, good lives. And when everything is considered, a good life is one where the highest standards and best values are embodied in everything a person does. And those are the very same standards that rule the best traditions of cricket – sincerity, respect, politeness, skill, fair play, competitiveness and winning and losing with honour and dignity.”