Desert Cubs Cricket Academy will get the chance to pick the brains of former UAE captain Mohammed Tauqir during their tour to UK next month.
Tauqir, 45, has been a familiar face at the Sharjah-based centre after his two children – Omer and Obaid – joined one of UAE’s top institutions earlier this year.
And with 78 kids, including his two sons, set to test themselves against their peers on English soil between July 25 to August 2, the ex-national spinner will offer his expertise after it was announced he would be part of the contingent.
Tauqir, who skippered the UAE at the 2015 World Cup, will be part of the Desert Cubs parents squad and head coach Presley Polonnowita is delighted to have a man, who won more than 70 caps for his country before his retirement in 2015, on board.
“It’s a great honour to have him with us on this tour and I am sure his vast experience and knowledge of the game will help our squads to do better in English conditions,” he said, whose group will be returning to England for the sixth time.
“To have played for the UAE for more than 10 years, he brings a lot to his role and he’s someone who has played in different conditions around the world.
“If we are thinking of the future of UAE cricket, it’s important to grow the game among Emiratis and I am happy that we could lay the first foundation stone through Desert Cubs tour programmes.”
During their week-long visit, Desert Cubs will field teams in four age groups – Under-12, U-14, U-16 and U-19 with matches in Leeds and Manchester across the 50-overs and two-day formats.
“We have decided not to organise any Twenty20 matches for the kids to play in England and there’s a reason for that,” said Polonnowita.
“The kids play this format a lot in the UAE but we want them to understand the importance of what it takes to play 50-over and two-day matches as it requires a lot of patience and composure.
“It will be great learning curve and I am sure these types of exposure will not only help them to gain overseas experience but also help the UAE in producing quality players in the future.”
As well as the matches, the players can also look forward to training at the Home of Cricket – Lord’s – as well as Headingley in Leeds.
“Practising at Lord’s is a dream to most of the cricket-loving kids and I am happy this dream will become a reality for them during the tour,” said Polonnowita.
“The coaching session at Headingly will be under the supervision of their experienced coaches, which is going to be an added advantage enabling our kids to prepare well for the different local playing conditions.”