ECB find central contracts alternative

Denzil Pinto 05:41 08/07/2014
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Rapid progress: The UAE qualified for both the World T20 Cup this year as well as the ICC World Cup next year.

Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) boss David East has revealed 15 UAE internationals will be offered “player support agreement” deals, which will see them rewarded “financially” in their preparations for the 2015 World Cup.

This is being offered to the play­ers instead of the central contracts that coach Aaqib Javed and captain Khurram Khan had called for after their 2015 World Cup qualification.

Citing the UAE’s employment laws, East said it was not possible to offer central contracts to the ama­teur players, and as a result will not see them turn professional.

“We are going to have player agreements in place and the players will have the ability to be rewarded as well," said East. "But as far as cen­tral contracts are concerned, it’s unlikely we will be able to go down that route due to the laws here and some legal issues.

“We are looking at 20 players as a long list, so the final 15 will be cho­sen from that. There is no specific timeframe (for the announcement) as the players will have to be spoken to, but it will be announced shortly.”

“We will have parallel agree­ments for them to commit to train­ing and availability requirements.

“We are calling it a player sup­port agreement. So it’s supporting the players in preparation for the World Cup from a technical per­spective; for all the resources we’re putting in for strength and condi­tioning, high performance moni­toring and also financially.”

He said the agreement will be beneficial to both parties, and added: “One of the biggest chal­lenges we had was the access to the players and we hope that will improve once this deal is in place.

“We now have an agreement in place with the ICC Academy who will source all our High Perform­ance Programme (HPP) camps.

“Part of this is having access to the players and we are working really hard to pull together a pro­gramme so that the players can commit to and enhance their per­formance as they move forward.”

East is hoping to hire a national development officer to oversee the domestic tournaments that could help Javed in selecting players.

He said: “The role will be to over­see and co-ordinate the tourna­ment structures in the UAE so that we have a pyramid structure of the best played events.

“Each Emirate tends to run its own tournament which is absolut-ely fine, but for us to select the best players, it’s helpful if the best play against the best on as many occa­sions as possible.”

Also the chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Cricket Club, East is hopeful of staging more floodlight domestic cricket in the UAE capital.

“Floodlights at the Nursery Ovals when funds permit will be our next project,” he said.

“It provides you with greater accessibility. People tend to play cricket in the evening and we have only one stadium with floodlights. So, having lights will broaden our opportunities.

“It also allows us to stage more comprehensive tournaments which means rather than having one game a night, you can have three games a night and have short tournaments.”

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