ECB find central contracts alternative

Denzil Pinto 8/07/2014
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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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UAE cricket in brief: Phoenix run continues

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Unbeaten run: Phoenix Medicine recovered to win their second match on the bounce.

Rizwan Khan and Shoaib Laghari scored brilliant half centuries to guide Phoenix Medicine to a big 112-run win over Radio 4 in the Aseel Islamic Finance 26th Sharjah Ramadan Cup.

Winning the toss and choosing to bat, Phoenix Medicine found themselves in trouble after both openers were back in the pavilion early on in the innings.

But that was the only moment Radio 4 bowlers got to relish as Khan and Laghari got together and ran riot.

The duo shared 151 runs for the third wicket, scored off just 13 overs, flooding the session with boundaries to put Phoenix Medicine firmly in the driver’s seat.

While Khan needed just 54 deliveries to smash a brilliant unbeaten 93, peppered with six boundaries and four maximums, Shoaib Laghari fired a 44-ball 85 in which he blasted five fours and seven sixes.

Pervaiz Nasir provided the ideal finishing touches with a quick 30 runs as Phoenix Medicine scored 219 for three in their 20 overs.

Chasing the big target, only Radio 4 opener Shahzad Mahmood (48) put on some resistance, while Vinod Nayar and Rama Krishna chipped in with 18 and 19 respectively as the broadcasters were bowled out for 107 in 18.1 overs.

Two wins on the trot for Danube and Rentals

Danube Lions went top of Group D with their second straight win in the Onashi Trading Pan Global Development Ramadan Twenty20 Cup.

Danube bowled out Phoenix for 100 and then knocked off the winning runs with more than three overs to spare.

But Danube did not have it easy early on, losing opener Asif Iqbal (1) with just four runs on the board and down to 52-4 before Asif Ali came in and smashed a quick-fire 27 off 13 balls.

Meanwhile, MMS Rentals also made it two out of two with a fourwicket triumph over Seven Seas in Group C.

Waqas Sarwar blasted 44 not out from 17 balls to take his team comfortably past the target.

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Oud Metha beats Cricket Lovers Club by five wickets

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Big win: Oud Metha won their group match by five wickets

Oud Metha Cricket Club beat Cricket Lovers Club by six wickets in the ongoing 13th Dulsco Ramadan Cricket Tournament at Zabeel Park Cricket Ground in Dubai.

Cricket Lovers Club skipper Divyendu Shekhar won the toss but soon rued his decision to bat first as wickets kept falling at regular intervals.

For Oud Metha, Harris first dismissed Karthik Shekhar (1) while Rishi Ramchandani (12) was his second victim with 33 runs on the scoreboard

Two more wickets fell with the addition of just 12 runs and Cricket Lovers Club looked in dire straits at 45 for 4.

Ateeq though held one end up and stabilised the innings in the company of Divyendu Shekhar, the pair taking the score to 83. However, Ateeq (36) was dismissed soon after and Cricket Lovers Club’s innings collapsed.

From 83 for five, Cricket Lovers Club crashed dramatically to 113 all out in 19.1 overs.

In reply, Oud Metha openers Ramakrishna and Awais got off to a great start, racing to 81 in just five

 overs before Awais was dismissed on 35 off 20 balls.

One run later, Ramakrishna was out after scoring 35 runs, but Termin (18) and Faizan (13) guided their team home in 16.1 overs.

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