ECB: 'Decision on coach soon'

Denzil Pinto 19/08/2016
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In a limbo: Paul Franks (r)

Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) chief David East has revealed discussions over the next permanent UAE coach will resume in the next board meeting, likely to be next month.

Former England international Paul Franks, 37, was at the helm for the team’s tour to Scotland after being named by the ECB as interim head coach following Aaqib Javed’s departure in May.

But his six-week stint ended last Tuesday, having drawn the four-day ICC Intercontinental Cup match and two successive ODI defeats in the World Cricket League Championship.

Franks admitted he has not ruled out a possible return as permanent coach and while East was impressed by how the team fared in Scotland, he insists the ECB board will discuss the issue of Javed’s predecessor possibly next month once all board members have returned from their travels.

“It’s not an easy thing to do to come into the side like that and try to prepare it properly for a short tournament like that,” said East. “But I think from what we all saw, Paul did a very very good job.”

“That’s going to be a matter for the board to decide who they want to move forward with (on whether Franks could be the next permanent coach. It will be a board decision which will happen in due course.”

East, who confirmed the ECB received “dozens of applications” to become the next coach in May, added: “There will be another discussion with the board and always said it would be reviewed after the Scotland trip and those discussions will take place as soon as I can get the board together which probably won’t take place for the next few weeks as people are still travelling.

“We want to be sooner rather than later as we have to ensure that we move forward. It’s not going to be months, we’ll be looking to make an appointment as quickly as we can. A lot of travelling takes and hopefully we can take that call in September and see where we go from there.”

Among the players in the squad that travelled was Rohan Mustafa and the all-rounder feels Franks is the right man to take the UAE forward, should he be selected.

“He was with us before and working hard and in my point of view, we were unlucky on that tour,” said the 27-year-old. “He gave us an idea of how to play in English and rainy conditions. I think Paul Franks is a very good coach and he’s always willing to work hard just like Aaqib bhai. He’s very disciplined and said to us that we’ve very good technically and is very serious on improving all areas of the team.”

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Franks coy on UAE future

Denzil Pinto 18/08/2016
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Speaking Frankly: UAE coach oversaw three matches in Scotland

Paul Franks has not ruled himself out of the running to become the next permanent UAE coach, saying he has “loved every minute” in his temporary role.

The Englishman’s six-week stint as interim head coach for the tour to Scotland ended on Tuesday evening with his team returning home winless in the UK.

After points were shared in the four-day ICC Intercontinental Cup match due to rain in Ayr, his men fell to successive 98-run and seven-wicket defeats in the ODIs of the World Cricket League Championship.

The 37-year-old admits Scotland were the better team and although he thoroughly enjoyed his time, he has warned important decisions need to be made by the Emirates Cricket Board.

“It’s been fantastic,” said the former England international, who stepped into Aaqib Javed’s shoes after the 1992 World Cup winner ended his four-year stay in May.

“Any opportunity to work with different players and from different cultural backgrounds is one that you should take with both hands. I’m very grateful for that opportunity but there’s a lot of work to do with this cricket team to get them where they should be and that’s something for the future.

“I’ve loved every minute of it. Coaching the UAE team has been great fun and they are a great bunch of people to work with. As far as I’m concerned there’s a lot of decisions to be made , not by me at this point but by the Emirates Cricket Board on where the future goes. If I’m part of that, then it’s fantastic. But we’ll just have to wait and see.”

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Sharjah ladies set to fly out for historic overseas tour in India

Denzil Pinto 17/08/2016
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Sharjah ladies team.

Sharjah Cricket Council’s (SSC) women’s squad will get a chance to test themselves against Indian opposition in their first-ever overseas tour this week.

Twelve promising players will travel today to Guntur, India for an 1–day camp where they will play seven T20 matches against the Andhra Pradesh Cricket Association (APCA) state side in the Danube Cup.

During their visit, the cricketers, who were selected having impressed in trials, will be put through their paces over a series of training and fitness sessions under the watchful eye of APCA coaches.

Having enjoyed success on the domestic circuit, winning the inaugural Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) national tournament earlier this year, SSC team manager Manvi Dhodhi insists the camp is vital in developing their skills and knowledge on foreign conditions.

“The ECB have been very supportive in organising domestic cricket but we haven’t had a camp of this kind where they can just think about cricket,” she said, revealing it took seven months of planning having discussed the idea with Venkatapathy Raju (Asian Cricket Council development officer).

“Many of them still study or work so cricket is more of a hobby. With it being the summer holidays, it’s opened a window for them to go to India and just play cricket.

“The majority of the squad are involved in the UAE set-up and we’ve been playing mostly in the Gulf. Now we want to move on to the next level now. This is the only way we can improve and there’s no better place than India where cricket is played professionally.”

The team will be led by Charvi Bhatt and all-rounder described the tour as an important step in enhancing their game.

“I’m really looking forward to this,” she said. “It will be learning curve for everybody and we’ve achieved a milestone by reaching this so far. This will be a new experience for everybody and it will be a very good tour.”

Among her teammates will be Natasha Michael. Having played on Indian soil during her career, the all-rounder can’t wait to showcase her skills in Andhra Pradesh.

“I think it will open everyone’s eyes to the level of cricket because we’ve been playing at a certain level for long time in the UAE”, she said.

“But when you get exposure to India, it’s different because you see how people play. The conditions will be different to what we do over here it’s going to be a very good experience. I can’t wait for it and it’s definitely something I will hang on to and cherish.”

Dhodhi added: “We are very thankful to the sponsors who have come on board for this tour and are really grateful.”

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