UAE international Chirag Suri has embarked upon a mission to take U19 cricket in the country to the next level with the launch of the Front Foot Sports CSE Rising Stars tournament.
The UAE team made the country proud in April by qualifying for the U19 World Cup in South Africa next year. With the aim of providing an even more vibrant atmosphere for budding cricketers in the UAE, Suri held a trial camp for up-and-coming cricketers at his academy – Front Foot Sports – earlier this month and the response he received has filled him with confidence.
“There were around 100 kids at the trials. The response has been terrific, but this is just the first step,” Suri told Sport360.
“I wanted to have a very competitive tournament. Our U19 players are getting to play against big teams, with the help of the Emirates Cricket Board. But I also want them to play the longer version of the game.
“So we are having this tournament which is of 40 overs. Each team will have one overseas player; from Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. It will give players a different level of exposure.”
There will be four teams in the competition, the dates of which are yet to be decided. The sides will be coached by Suri, Obaid Hameed – tournament director, and former UAE captain Khurram Khan.
Apart from exposure to high quality cricket, top players in the tournament will get contracts from kit manufacturers Spartan Sports and DSC. Not only that, the best player will go to India for a 10-day high performance camp at Axel Sports Academy in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
Members of the UAE U19 team also took part in the trials with Suri keen on having the very best in the country vying for spots.
“We are going to finalise the tournament dates in August as the UAE U19 team will be playing in the Asia Cup. So I want to make the sure all players are available.
“Members of the UAE U19 team were also part of the trials. We wanted every single person to attend. They are the cream of UAE U19, so it was good to have all of them there. We presented a small memento to the team for qualifying for the U19 World Cup,” Suri added.
Among those who will feature in the tournament, as part of the overseas contingent, is Pakistan A and PSL pacer Ghulam Mudassar. Suri is also hoping to rope in Nepal batsman Rohit Paudel – the youngest batsman in history to hit an ODI fifty.
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