Chirag Suri has insisted he wants to make a name for himself in the UAE national team rather than being remembered as the “IPL boy” following his recall for their Netherlands tour.
The 22-year-old batsman was given the new nickname after he became the first cricketer from the Emirates to win an Indian Premier League deal when bought by Gujarat Lions in February. It’s a label that has carried through with him even though he didn’t get any game time under his belt during this year’s six-week competition.
A series of fine performances with the bat upon his return to Dubai on the domestic scene has seen him rewarded with a spot in the 14-man squad for next month’s three-match ODI series against the Netherlands, ending a six-month absence.
And the former Under-19 international, who has five UAE caps, wants to press his case of becoming a regular for the team.
“There’s nothing wrong with being named the IPL boy but it also came with a lot of expectations and am glad that since I’ve come back, that I’ve become a better player and got the call-up to the team,” he said. “I’ve got goals that I want to achieve and I hope for the best.
“Having come back from India, it was always my aim to get back into the UAE team and am happy that I’ve been named.
“As cricketers, we all want to play international matches for your country and it’s a great experience and you get to learn so much.
“I definitely want to test myself at the highest level and am looking forward to the tour. I can’t wait to go out there and score some runs.”
— UAE Cricket Official (@EmiratesCricket) June 18, 2017
His recent domestic form has seen him score six half-centuries , boosting confidence he can replicate that against the Dutch.
“I would like to think that I’m in the best shape,” he said.” I have six fifties in my seven games and am definitely hitting the ball well. I’m in a good place mentally and feel very confident going into the tour and now it’s just fingers cross and taking things positive.”
While Suri will be familiar with his team-mates after last playing for the UAE against England Lions in December, he will be hoping to impress new head coach Dougie Brown.
Former-Warwickshire supremo Brown, was named by the Emirates Cricket Board as Aaqib Javed’s permanent successor last month, having acted as an interim for three months. Suri has already been impressed with the ex-England and Scotland international and believes the team can strive under his helm.
“He’s a really hard worker and he’s done a great job so far for the UAE,” he said.
“Having played there in UK, he’s an expert in those conditions in England. He’s definitely proved he’s the right man for the job and during the training sessions so far, he has really motivated the boys and we are feeling great as a team.”
Dougie Brown will lead the Emirates Cricket team as the newly appointed head coach with high hopes for the future of Emirati cricket.
Waleed Bukhatir, Emirates Cricket Board Member and Chief Selector said, “After a very extensive process, the Board are very pleased to confirm that Dougie has been selected as Emirates Cricket’s Head Coach.
“Dougie’s influence with and impact on the players has been evident through their recent form and commitment, and we look forward to watching them continue this upward curve under his guidance.”
“It is a huge honour to be appointed head coach of the UAE Cricket National Team and I really look forward to the exciting challenges that lie ahead as we look to build on the recent success the team has achieved.” stated Brown.
“We have had an outstanding 3 months and I continue to be impressed with both individual and team performances. I relish the opportunity to further develop the team culture and reinforce our style of play.”
Brown’s appointment commences Thursday, June 1 where his first official task will be to prepare the players for their upcoming ODIs against Netherlands in mid-July.
Heena Hotchandani and Kavisha Kumari delivered when it really mattered as Desert Cubs Cricket Academy were crowned champions of the UAE National Women’s Tournament after a 63-run victory against GM Academy.
The bowlers were lethal with the ball as vice-captain Hotchandani (4-13) and Kumari (3-14) claimed seven wickets as GM Academy were all out for 94 in their reply to chasing 158 in the 30-over match.
That total was largely thanks to Chamani Seneviratne, who top-scored with 47 runs from 36 deliveries, while there were valuable contributions from Kumari (25) and skipper Oza (27), who elected to bat first after winning the toss.
For GM, their batswomen struggled at the crease with only Subha Srinivasan (21), Aysha Noushad (15) and Chaya Mughal (14) reaching double figures at Sharjah English School.
The result capped a remarkable campaign for Desert Cubs, who won all seven of their matches in the three-team competition, which also included G-Force. And UAE international Oza had nothing but praise for her team-mates.
“Winning any tournament is a great feeling, but winning all of our matches and staying unbeaten throughout is something very special, especially at such a big stage in women’s domestic cricket,” said Oza, who finished as the top run-scorer with 228.
“The thing that impressed me the most was that we played as a team and whoever got an opportunity to play did justice to their role in the team.”
The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) will now identify the best pool of players for a summer training camp ahead of the UAE’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers later this year.
Hoping their efforts are recognised are Priyanjali Jain (212) and Srinivasan (178), who impressed with the bat.
Srinivasan also showed why she claimed the MVP after the all-rounder topped the bowling charts with nine wickets, ahead of Kumari (8) and Hotchandani (7).
Humaira Tasneem, who skippered GM Academy, insists the tournament was a great learning curve. “There were three strong teams competing and every team played at least six matches which gave us good exposure and match practice,” she said.
“It was exciting for our team to qualify as we have a wide cross section of ages, and through each game our confidence grew and we have seen definite improvement.
“We were exposed to three different pitches and learnt how to adapt and make the best of the pitches.”