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MI Emirates’ batting brilliance overpowers Dubai Capitals by 45 runs to emerge as DP World ILT20’s new champions

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MI Emirates’s run riot crafted by their skipper Nicholas Pooran and Andre Fletcher’s half centuries, which produced the highest total this season, blew away Dubai Capitals by 45 runs to emerge as the new champions of the DP World ILT20 Season 2.

In front of a packed Dubai International Stadium, Pooran scored a breezy unbeaten captain’s knock of 57 runs off 27 balls studded with six sixes and two boundaries. He was backed by Fletcher’s 53 off 37 balls, featuring four sixes and three boundaries. Openers Muhammad Waseem and his partner Kusal Perera contributed aggressively, with Waseem scoring 43 off 24 balls, including three boundaries and three sixes, and Perera adding 38 off 26 balls, with six boundaries, leading to a 77-run opening partnership and helping MI Emirates set a record score of 208 for 3 in 20 overs.

In reply, Capitals could muster only 163 for 7 in 20 overs with Trent Boult and Vijayakanth Viyaskanth bagging two wicket each. MI Emirates received the winners’ prize of a whopping $700,000 (USD) while the runners-up received $300,000 (USD).

Chasing the mammoth total, Capitals had it tough from the start with Emirates’ Akeal Hosein, who has been regularly striking in the first over, trapping Leus du Plooy leg before, resulting in a duck. Tom Abell, when on 7, was dropped by Dwayne Bravo at mid-off by Trent Boult, but was later caught by Pollard off Rohid Khan for 14. Banton and his skipper Sam Billing pushed the score to 63 when Banton got foxed by leg spinner Vijayakanth Viyaskanth to be stumped by Pooran for 35.

Sikandar Raza, who has played many match-winning knocks for Capitals, scored just 10 runs before hitting Viyaskanth to Waseem at deep mid-wicket. Capitals, faced with the challenge of scoring 100 runs in 41 balls, saw Waqar Salamkheil remove Billings stumped by Pooran for a fighting 40. Trent Boult then struck twice to remove Rovman Powell caught by Waseem at deep midwicket and clean bowl Jason Holder for 24 to ensure his team’s victory.

Earlier, Capitals won the toss and elected to bowl. MI Emirates’ opener Waseem started with a six over long-on off Scott Kuggeleijn, while his partner Kusal Perera played some flowing drives. The pair reached their half-century partnership in 3.3 overs, with Waseem hitting two boundaries and a six off Kuggeleijn in that over. By the end of the powerplay, MI Emirates had posted 72 runs. Waseem fell to Zahir Khan when he was seven short of his half-century, lifting Zahir Khan to Rovman Powell at mid-off.

Andre Fletcher maintained the run flow with Perera and steered the total to the 100-run mark in 10.5 overs. At the score of 102, Leus du Plooy pulled off a diving catch at deep mid-wicket to dismiss Perera, who attempted a slog sweep off Sikandar Raza, for 38.

Spinners Raza and Zahir Khan tried to strangle the run flow, but skipper Nicholas Pooran and Fletcher hit sixes off them. They put on a 50-run partnership in 28 balls and took the score past the 150-run mark in 15.5 overs. Another spectacular diving catch by Du Plooy at backward square leg to Fletcher’s top-edged pull ended the 56-run partnership.

Kieron Pollard joined Pooran, who smashed Jason Holder for 19 runs in the 18th over with two towering sixes and a boundary. With the score reading 177 for 3 and two more overs to go, the crowd got ready to cheer for the 200-run mark. Emirates achieved it off the fifth ball of the last over through a six from Pooran. This six also helped him reach his half-century in 26 balls. In the last five overs, Emirates hit 74 runs.

James Vince of Gulf Giants with 356 runs from 12 innings emerged the highest run-getter to win the Green Belt, while Waqar Salamkheil with 17 wickets was the highest wicket-taker and bagged the White Belt on better economy rate pipping Fazalhaq Farooqi, who too had 17 wickets. Muhammad Waseem won the Blue Belt for the best UAE player for the second year is succession. Sikandar Raza bagged the Red Belt for the Most Value Player. All of them pocketed USD 15,000 each. DP World Biggest six was awarded to Andre Fletcher while DP World Most 6s of the season was won by Nicholas Pooran. The Cycle Hub Catch of the season went to Sam Billings for his one-handed effort at the slip to dismiss Will Smeed in Match No2.

MI Emirates’ skipper Nicholas Pooran, after receiving the Player of the Match, hailed his openers for setting the stage for the victory. “Truly special to be the man of the match in the final. We spoke about having the right energy and attitude. I couldn’t have asked for a better start, they (openers) did the hard work, we just finished it off. It’s about understanding the situation and batting accordingly.”

Losing captain Sam Billings was sporting in his defeat and said: “Always regret when you lose. As captain, I’m go to bed thinking where it went wrong. But they were brilliant, Nicholas Pooran in that mood is very difficult to play against. Maybe they scored 20-25 runs too many. One of the best things about playing cricket in different places is experiencing different cultures. The UAE players have all been impressive. Really happy to see them improve.”

Sikandar Raza who won the most valuable player award said: “Quite a proud and humbling moment for me. It has been a journey, it is the reward for a lot of sacrifice, hard work, and pain. I just want to say thank you to all those who have prayed for me in these last two years, especially during my illness. I like to be in the position where the skipper can bank on me to bowl four overs every time. Thirteen wickets in the tournament feels like the hard work is coming through; we can only get better.”

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e& life joins Dubai FinTech Summit as a Powered By sponsor

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: e& life, the business pillar of e& that brings the next-generation digital world to the consumer’s fingertips, has joined theDubai FinTech Summit (DFS), organised by Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global Financial Centre in the MEASA region. As a Powered By sponsor, e& life is dedicated to supporting innovative and future-thinking businesses on a global scale.

e& life leverages cutting-edge technologies to offer fintech, entertainment, retail, and mobility services through its smart platforms and apps.  Their fintech arm, e& money, has become a regional powerhouse, known for its user-friendly mobile financial services and its position as the UAE’s fastest-growing issuer of Mastercard debit cards.

Mohammad Alblooshi, Chief Executive Officer at DIFC Innovation Hub, said, “The path to true innovation lies in collaboration and the Dubai FinTech Summit strives to bring together global leaders, innovators and disruptive start-ups to shape the future of finance. The alliance between the summit and e& life demonstrates our mutual commitment to fostering a dynamic FinTech ecosystem to strengthen Dubai’s existing reputation as a leading business destination. Transforming challenges into opportunities, our goal is to create the most advanced, inclusive and technologically empowered financial community.”

Khalifa Al Shamsi, Chief Executive Officer at e& life, said, “The Middle East is at the forefront of a major transformation in financial services delivery, driven by technology shifting from traditional to innovative solutions. As a pioneer in the region’s flourishing FinTech sector, e& is driven by a bold vision to lead this change.

“Through strategic partnerships, we aim to fast-track progress and take the region’s FinTech potential to new heights. This partnership represents a valuable opportunity for both e& and its FinTech portfolio under the business pillar e& life to collectively imagine new possibilities, inspire breakthrough ideas, and catalyse impactful innovations. By bringing together the talent and resources within our ecosystems, we can accelerate the journey toward a future where financial services truly empower people across societies. We look forward to contributing our expertise to shaping discussions that will steer the direction of the industry and play a role in realising the UAE’s aspiration to become a global hub for financial innovation.”

In line with the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) to position Dubai as the top four global financial hub by 2033, the 2nd edition of the Dubai FinTech Summit is designed to encourage cross-border collaboration and innovation, pivotal to transforming the global FinTech sector. It presents a unique opportunity to explore emerging FinTech trends and their potential to drive financial progress in the MEASA region.

The Dubai FinTech Summit, scheduled for May 6-7, 2024, at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, will see an unprecedented gathering of over 8,000 decision-makers, over 300 thought leaders and over 200 exhibitors showcasing cutting-edge technologies.

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UAE announces Eid Al Fitr holidays for private sectorUAE announces

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The UAE government has announced the official holidays for private sector employees across the country on the occasion of Eid Al Fitr.

The break will begin on Monday, April 8 and last till 3 Shawwal (or what is equivalent to it in the Gregorian date). As per the Islamic calendar, Ramadan lasts 29 or 30 days, depending on when the Moon is sighted. Eid Al Fitr is celebrated on the first of Shawwal.

The UAE Cabinet has confirmed a week-long public sector holiday to celebrate Eid Al Fitr. This aligns with the earlier announcement from the UAE Federal Authority for Government Human Resources. Government employees will be on paid leave from Monday, April 8 to Sunday, April 14, returning to work on Monday, April 15.
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Renowned Indian IVF Specialist Dr Varsha Patil unveils plans to launch business in Dubai

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Dr. Varsha Patil, a distinguished IVF specialist and a Clinical Embryologist with extensive experience in infertility treatment, is set to expand her footprint to Dubai this year. The veteran doctor is keen to bring her IVF chain Jananee to the region this year buoyed by Dubai’s ease of doing business and recent legal reforms pertaining to IVF treatment. But it is the region’s high infertility rate that needs to be addressed first, she says.

“Studies have shown that infertility rates in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the wider GCC have been on the rise and more than double the global average and there’s no doubt that much of it is down to the lifestyle choices, stress and dietary habits of today’s generation. And add to that medical conditions that often remain undiagnosed,” said Dr Patil, who runs India’s Siddhagiri Jananee IVF and Test Tube Baby Center as the director and head of department. “Just a couple of years ago, the global estimates of infertility were approximately 15 percent while across the GCC those figures were as high as 35 to 40 percent. That tells you the need of the hour in this region for a holistic clinic that will get to the root of the problem and eliminate it.”

With an illustrious career spanning over two decades and a wealth of expertise garnered from prestigious institutions worldwide, Dr. Patil brings a holistic approach to reproductive healthcare that prioritises affordability, accessibility, and patient well-being, having touched the lives of thousands of people wanting to be parents.  Now she wants to bring her line of treatment and efficacy to Dubai. “I have found over the years a continuous rise in both primary and secondary infertility in this region particularly due partly to lifestyle-related issues. It is now time to give such patients greater access to high quality, cost-effective treatment in their own backyard now. And so plans are fully on to launch a holisitic clinic by the third quarter this year as we currently speak to potential investors,” said Dr Patil whose academic journey includes studying at Leeds University, UK, and completing a specialised training at Sydney IVF in Australia. As an academic, she has showcased her research prowess by presenting papers at esteemed platforms such as SymResearch Pune at Symbiosis University and the World Congress on Human Reproduction in Venice, Italy.

Throughout her career, Dr Patil has been at the forefront of infertility treatment, practicing in Bangalore, Belgaum Karnataka, and Kolhapur Maharashtra. She has also held the position of Head of the IVF Lab at Genesis in Bangalore and currently serves as the Director and Head of the IVF Department at India’s National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH) accredited Sidhagiri Hospital & Research Center in Kolhapur. “It is now time for us to expand internationally and there can’t be a better place to start with than Dubai for the ease of doing business this place offers and the legal reforms two years ago,” said Dr Patil during her visit to the emirate as part of a business potential study tour earlier this month.

Last year, just two years on from the UAE’s legal reforms, Dubai clinics saw 2000 more women opting to freeze their eggs as fertility clinics in Dubai registered a whopping 20-fold increase in women requesting egg freezing procedures compared to 2021.

Legal reforms introduced in 2021 allow freezing of human embryos and eggs in the UAE. The law also stipulates that human embryos can be frozen for up to five years – extendable with the consent of relevant parties – and that single women can freeze their eggs provided they are used for their own pregnancy after marriage with their husband’s sperm in an IVF procedure.

“India is known globally for its medical infracstructue and facilities. Over 2 million patients visit India each year from close to 80 countries for medical, wellness and IVF treatments, generating $6 billion for the industry that is expected to reach $13 billion by 2026 backed by the government’s Heal in India initiative. If it’s worked in India, there’s no reason why it can’t work in Dubai now in the current backdrop and rest of the region where the infrastructure is even better,” explained Dr Patil who’s driven by a passion for making fertility care accessible to all, addressing genuine challenges faced by patients, including the high costs associated with treatment cycles and hormonal toxicity. “I firmly believe that parenthood is a fundamental right and therefore I travel the world advocating for accessible information and treatment options for individuals worldwide – irrespective of where they come, what strata, background or religion they belong to.”

With a holistic approach to artificial reproductive technologies (ART), Dr Patil emphasises the importance of nutrition, hygiene, detoxification, and managing pathological conditions to optimise fertility outcomes. “So what makes us stand out is the comprehensive approach we take to fertility care, one that integrates humanitarian principles with cutting-edge medical techniques. Recognising the global significance of declining birth rates and rising economic expenditures on fertility issues, we feel the need today is for affordable and stress-free fertility journeys for patients worldwide,” she said explaining how her tentative feasibility report underscores the practicality and potential impact of her proposed projects on subfertile patients on humanitarian grounds.

“With a vision to extend her transformative initiatives to a global scale, I seek the guidance and support of UAE’s leadership,” she said, expressing a “sincere intention to present a proposal that recognises the country’s commitment to innovation and healthcare excellence”.

About Dr Varsha Patil

Driven by her pursuit of excellence, Dr. Varsha Patil ventured to Australia for specialized training in IVF, following her Bachelors in Medicine & Surgery and Masters in Clinical Embryology from University of Leeds UK. Dr. Patil also received extensive training at Sydney, Australia at SYDNEY IVF. She received this advanced training at Sydney IVF, under the mentorship of leading IVF specialists. This invaluable hands-on experience equipped her with cutting-edge techniques and a deeper understanding of infertility treatments.

With an impressive 23 years of clinical practice in infertility treatment, Dr. Patil’s profound impact on couples struggling to conceive is immeasurable. Her clinics, strategically located across Maharashtra and Karnataka in India, stand as pillars of hope for those seeking expert fertility guidance and effective solutions. Now she is also poised to expand her footprint in Dubai.

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