IPL 2021 Quiz: Gulf News and Mr Cricket UAE Anis Sajan unite to give fans a treat in Dubai

Mr Cricket UAE Anis Sajan and Abdul Hamid, CEO, EIC & Executive Director Publications, accompanied by Gulf News staff Shyam A. Krishna, Senior Associate Editor, and Matthew Smith, Sports Editor, present the trophy along with other gifts to the winners Maaz Ahmed and Heta Khan from Delhi Capitals, after the IPL 2021 Quiz by Gulf News and Mr Cricket UAE in Dubai
Mr Cricket UAE Anis Sajan and Abdul Hamid, CEO, EIC & Executive Director Publications, accompanied by Gulf News staff Shyam A. Krishna, Senior Associate Editor, and Matthew Smith, Sports Editor, present the trophy along with other gifts to the winners Maaz Ahmed and Heta Khan from Delhi Capitals, after the IPL 2021 Quiz by Gulf News and Mr Cricket UAE in Dubai Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

While the Indian Premier League is on hold until its completion later in the year in the UAE, Gulf News on Saturday once again joined forces with Mr Cricket UAE Anis Sajan to host a live quiz with 16 superfans in Dubai, representing all eight franchises from the richest cricket league in the world.

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Each team of two — representing their favourites from Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Punjab Kings, Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals — showed their vast knowledge of the game as they were grilled by Anis, ably assisted by Gulf News’ Senior Associate Editor Shyam Krishna and Sports Editor Matthew Smith. The winners were given a Gulf News digital subscription, Fitbit watches and trackers and bags, jackets, caps from Mr Cricket UAE.

Team Delhi prevailed over Chennai Super Kings in a gripping final showdown at Gulf News headquarters, after the eight hopeful sides had been whittled down to the final two in a competition that followed the meticulous format of the IPL, including qualifiers and an eliminator. While DC went home with the trophy and laden with goodies from GN and Mr Cricket UAE himself, the real star of the show was CSK’s young IPL whizz Arjan, whose vast knowledge of the competition outweighed his tender age of eight, and often left his elders and rivals stumped and stunned. He himself vowed he will be back next time to claim the trophy, and we will all be ready to welcome him and all the other participants back.

The quizmasters’ take

Smiles and laughs amid the competition

Matthew Smith, Sports Editor

What an experience as Gulf News and Mr Cricket UAE gave the UAE’s Indian Premier League superfans a treat on Saturday with their special IPL quiz. There were nerves to be seen among all 16 participants — and the hosts. This was a new and enjoyable experience for all after the jitters subsided and the joviality took over. With the competition played in true sporting spirit, it was an occasion to savour, with each team going home with goodies and the duo representing Delhi Capitals getting their hands on the coveted trophy. The smiles could be seen among all participants even behind the protective masks and there were laughs aplenty with banter among the rivals, and even between quizmaster Anis and the adjudicator — his son, Sahil. Just like all the players and guys behind the scenes who made this all possible, I can’t wait for the next one.

The pressure of questions against the clock got to some contenders at the IPL 2021 Quiz
The pressure of questions against the clock got to some contenders at the IPL 2021 Quiz Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

When de Villiers hit two teams for sixes

Shyam A. Krishna, Senior Associate Editor

Quizzes are high-voltage jousting. Under time pressure, contestants tend to forget even straight-forward answers. But not the participants at the IPL 2021 Quiz, organised by Gulf News and Mr Cricket UAE Anis Sajan. It was top-drawer stuff. The level of cricket knowledge on display was simply superb. Very few answers were wrong, and even impromptu questions elicited swift responses.

Cricket buffs’ appetite for statistics and trivia is insatiable. Yet when you’ve only 10 seconds to answer a question, it can be quite daunting. But like the Twenty20 cricketers, these youngsters know no pressure. Their awareness of facts and feats in the IPL games was stunning. Chennai Super Kings’ Arjan Singh, 8, didn’t win but stole the thunder, reeling out answers backed by a trigger finger on the buzzer.

Here’s the answer to the question that tripped two teams: The full name of AB de Villiers is Abraham Benjamin de Villiers. Not Andrew. Not Botulus.

The smiles were there to be seen even behind the masks at the IPL 2021 Quiz
The smiles were there to be seen even behind the masks at the IPL 2021 Quiz Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Breaking the boundaries

Anis Sajan, Mr Cricket UAE

Conducting the first IPL 2021 Quiz with Gulf News was at one-off a kind experience.

We had 16 participants playing for eight teams, two each for their respective teams Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Punjab and Rajasthan and all the participants had a ball.

Each team had two rounds of five questions in a head-to-head format and had to press the buzzer after the quizmaster had asked the question. Itchy buzzer fingers and excitement got to almost all participants and they often made the error of pressing the buzzer before the question was asked and handing the advantage to the opposition. All the matches were so closely contested that it came to a tiebreaker to decide the top four teams and Team Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Punjab made it to the play-offs.

Delhi turned out to be the eventual winners, beating Chennai but for me all the teams were winners as all of them played the quiz in the right spirit and walked away with loads of prizes from Gulf News & Mr Cricket UAE, including jackets, backpacks, caps and treats from Fitbit.

Their favourite players play on the field, but off the field the contestants were the real stars who got this opportunity to play thanks to Gulf News, and I loved hosting such an event along with my fellow quiz masters Shyam and Matt.