Former Nottinghamshire all-rounder Paul Franks will rejoin the UAE for one-month to aid the country’s bid to compete at the 2016 Asia Cup in Bangladesh.
Franks, who retired from first-class cricket at the end of the summer, was part of the UAE’ coaching staff in the build-up to and during their World Cup exploits in New Zealand and Australia earlier this year.
The 36-year-old, who will captain Nottinghamshire’s Second XI this year will also assist coach Aaqib Javed’s team’s fixtures against Hong Kong in the Intercontinental Cup and matches against an England XI and their development side, the England Lions.
“It’s about personal development,” Franks told the Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club website.
“I thoroughly benefited from being involved with them extensively prior to and during the World Cup campaign.
“The opportunity to go back was muted, the Club see the benefits, I certainly see the benefits and it’s something I’m looking forward to.
“It’s branching out a little bit, learning about different conditions and different people and bringing it all back to Trent Bridge.
“We’ve always been encouraged to explore opportunities and the chance to work with a slightly changed group of UAE players from the World Cup is something I’m excited about.”
— Barny Read (@BarnabyRead) October 29, 2015
The UAE lost all of their matches at the World Cup and have since been thrashed by Ireland in their Intercontinental Cup opener and came away from their World T20 qualifiers in Scotland having won just one match.
It marked a thoroughly disappointing few months for the UAE on the back of their most successful two years in history, qualifying for its first World T20 tournament and the World Cup for only the second time.
Franks is optimistic that the UAE will be improved moving forward, citing the squad’s transition in recent months as an opportunity to get back to winning ways.
“It’s just come out of the cycle of the last World Cup which was very much the end of an era for UAE cricket,” said Franks.
“There were key players, very good players that retired because they were the wrong side of 40 and couldn’t realistically keep driving it forward.
“It’s very much at the start again, some rebuilding has happened, now they need to hit the ground running where they can and make sure they are learning along the way.
“There has been a turnover of players and the squad now has a younger dynamic.
“Some of the senior cricketers are still there but they’re looking to integrate new players whilst also remaining competitive.
“The first few days will be a fact finding mission on the guys I don’t know, but it didn’t take too long last year and hopefully it won’t this year.
“They need to get up-and-running in the I Cup – and to help the UAE pit themselves against England is definitely something I’m looking forward to.”