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.”