A promising young cricketer has turned down the opportunity to play in the UK in order to attend a selection trial in Kerala and enhance his chances of representing India one day.
Sharjah-based Shoun Roger, 14, was due to start his two-year scholarship to continue his education and develop his game at England’s Wellington School, Somerset in September, having received the offer in April
However, the all-rounder had a change of heart last month and instead of signing on the dotted line, will now remain in the UAE.
A call-up to the UAE national team is very much on his radar as well as his native country – India. To make that a reality, he will travel to India for the Under-16 Kerala Cricket Association District selection trials in November.
If he impresses in that, it could pave the way of playing for the Indian national team with the process also including Zonal and State trials. The trials are run under the BCCI, the governing body for India.
Roger, who won the Most Valuable Player in the Under-14 category of the ADIB National School League, where he skippered Our Own Zenith to glory in February’s final, had mixed emotions but feels he made the right decision.
“I’m not disappointed (to have not gone to England),” said Roger, who was part of the UAE Under-16 training camp over the summer.
“It was a great opportunity to play in England because it has a strong cricketing history. It’s something that I had to think hard but I have hopes of playing for the UAE and India, particularly and I feel the trials in Kerala is a perfect chance to make that happen.” It will be the second time he will be competing in the Kerala trials having attended the U-14s three years ago.
“It’s going to be hard especially as there will be older players in the trials,” he said. “But it will be a great experience for me. I will continue playing in the UAE and hopefully will get a chance to represent the country one day.”
His father Antony, added the decision was purely down to cricketing reasons, fearing his son’s dream could have been more difficult had he gone to England.
“We decided that if he went there, he will be there for two years and he would come back when he’s around 16 or 17,” he said. “The game is more advanced there but his chances of playing for India or the UAE would be even harder. We had to think hard because it was all about the stage of him beginning his career.”