UAE batsman Chirag Suri one success story from Red Bull Campus Cricket

Nick Watkins 11/04/2018
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Chirag Suri: Red Bull's cricket star

Dubai’s Chirag Suri has already proved dreams can come true at the Red Bull Campus Cricket finals after his performances helped catch the eye of IPL’s Gujarat Lions.

The UAE batsman has played in three editions of the Red Bull Campus Cricket – an important stepping stone on his wat to featuring in the globe’s premier Twenty20 tournament last year.

Speaking exclusively to Sport 360 ahead of Thursday’s qualifiers, Suri admits it’s been a dream of his to play in the professional game. “It’s been a real journey,” he said. “I’ve been in the UAE for about 14 years and when I arrived here from India I was already passionate about cricket, and I’ve been able to work my way up to the UAE senior team and also break into the IPL”.

“I’ve been able to do it through hard work, you never know what to expect when you’re looking to become a cricketer, it’s not a normal job, you don’t move up the ranks by being a manager then CEO, it’s something that has to happen naturally. I’ve had some ups and downs but I’ve been lucky enough to have more ups than downs so it’s been good to me so far”.

Suri was just six years old when his father introduced him to the game, which even at a young age, he knew he wanted to make his full-time career. He believes his success was helped immensely by playing in a tournament, which supports amateur cricket at a high level. “Red Bull Campus Cricket is a very good platform for kids because there is very few tournaments which support cricket in the UAE, especially at such a high level. What the tournament does is allow you to get great experience playing abroad as we’ve played in finals in India and Sri Lanka”.

He continued, “A lot of people follow their passion without ever being able to make it a full-time job so I’m very thankful that now I’m playing in the IPL I can say I’m doing it full-time. It’s a very proud feeling for me”.

Representing current champions Heriot Watt University; Suri has been able to adapt his game from an amateur into a professional by working on his decision-making. “As a cricketer you can hit a cut shot, a drive or a six anytime you want, you’ve got to choose the right shot at the right time”, he’s learned. “You have to be confident and back yourself with your decisions; you have to practise hard enough to know that you can do it in a game situation. The more you practise each different shot the easier it’ll become, so when faced with a match situation you’ll just do it naturally in a game without thinking”.

Universities competing in Red Bull Campus Cricket:

Heriot-Watt University
American University of Sharjah
Birla institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (BITS PILANI)
Amity University
Manipal University
Skyline University
Rochester Institute of Technology
Emirates Aviation College
University of Wollongong
Middlesex University

Qualifiers: April 12th
Quarter-finals: April 13th
Semi-finals & Finals: April 14th
Location: Eden Gardens Ajman

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Morne Morkel signs two-year Kolpak deal with Surrey

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Surrey have signed South Africa’s fast bowler Morne Morkel on a two-year deal, the club confirmed on Tuesday.

Morkel retired from international cricket after the fourth and final Test at Johannesburg against Australia. In the eventful Cape Town Test though, he claimed his 300th Test victim. He played in 86 Test matches, 117 One-Day Internationals and 44 T20 Internationals for the Proteas.

Surrey’s opening County Championship game of the season is scheduled for April 20, against Hampshire, although a left strain side strain might stop Morkel from taking part in the opener.

Morkel is the latest addition to the list of players who have signed the Kolpak deal with English counties recently. But unlike Hampshire fast bowler Kyle Abbott and Essex all-rounder Simon Harmer, the 33-year old has took the decision during latter stages of his career.

Morkel should also be a welcome addition to Surrey’s squad after Australia’s Mitchell Starc pulled out due to an ankle surgery and Tom Curran was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders for the IPL.

Speaking after signing the club contract, Morkel said, “It is a real honour that Surrey have asked me to join their club after my retirement from international cricket,” as quoted on Surrey’s official website.

“I’ve got fond memories of playing at The Kia Oval and am looking forward to settling into London with my family for the summer, making new friendships with teammates and hopefully great memories on and off the field.”

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Freddie Flintoff suggests all Australian team knew of ball-tampering in the Tests against South Africa

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Starc and the other Australian bowlers had success in the first Test.

Andrew Flintoff has hit out at “nonsense” suggestions knowledge of Australia’s ball-tampering scandal was limited to banned trio Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

Former England all-rounder Flintoff has criticised the one-year bans to former captain Smith and former vice-captain Warner and the nine-month suspension for Bancroft as overly-harsh.

The Australia trio were banned after admitting tampering with the ball in the third Test match of South Africa’s three-one series victory.

Flintoff feels convinced other Australia players would have known about plans to tamper with the ball, while he also revealed sympathy for the banned trio.

“I am struggling to think that not everyone knew,” Flintoff told BBC Radio 5 live.

“I might be completely wrong but you talk about it. You talk about how you are going to treat the ball. The ball in cricket is so important.”

“To say that a bowler has got a ball in his hands, or anybody else in the field does not know that this ball has been tampered with is absolute nonsense,” Flintoff added.

“You talk and talk and talk about how you’re going to look after this ball. To then say that other people didn’t know – if that’s the case I feel sorry for Mitchell Starc.

“He’s got the ball in his hands. He’s running in thinking he’s Wasim Akram – this ball is moving everywhere.

“He is thinking: ‘I’m cracking it here, I’m doing something which is unbelievable.'”

That being said, Flintoff felt the bans on the three players were harsh.

“The crime doesn’t warrant that.

“One of the things which has really annoyed me is I’ve seen people raising their profile on the back of other people’s misery.

“Some of them are in glass houses – don’t be chucking your stones, lads. We’ve done a few things which aren’t particularly in the rules – not as bad as that – and it changes.

“Then I saw Steve Smith on TV crying his eyes out, so upset, and I put a tweet out saying: ‘Are you happy now? Is that what you wanted?'”

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