UAE appoint Monty Desai as batting coach of senior team

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Monty Desai. Image: Cricket Canada/Twitter

The Emirates Cricket Board on Sunday announced the appointment of Monty Desai as the batting coach of the national team.

Desai has been brought on board to develop and strengthen the UAE batting line-up while assisting head coach Dougie Brown.

Desai comes in with experience under his belt, having worked with teams like Nepal, Canada and Afghanistan across formats. He was Afghanistan’s batting coach during their World Cup qualification in Zimbabwe in 2018. Desai was also Canada’s head coach in their ICC World Cricket League Division 2 campaign.

Not only that, Desai has been an important member of the coaching staff of Indian Premier League franchises Rajasthan Royals and Gujarat Lions. He has also worked at the state-level, where he was most recently the head coach of Andhra during the 2018-2019 Indian domestic season.

On the appointment, Zayed Abbas, Emirates Cricket Board member and spokesperson, said: “UAE cricket is embarking on an exceptionally busy playing schedule where we have three important tournaments for two of our representative sides; the ICC U19’s Cricket World Cup campaign (2020), our Senior Men’s ICC World T20 qualifiers (2019) as well as the Senior Men’s ICC World Cricket League Division 2 matches.

“The importance of securing success in all three campaigns is of the highest priority, and it is imperative we provide quality resources to reach our goal. We welcome Monty to this role and look forward to seeing positive results from his influence and expertise,” added Abbas.

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UAE begin tour of Netherlands with T20 win in Amstelveen

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Darius D'Silva made his UAE T20 debut. Image: Sander Tholen/ Netherlands Cricket.

The UAE began their tour of the Netherlands with a thrilling 13-run win in Amstelveen.

The four-match T20 series began with the UAE batting first at the VRA Ground. Fifty from opener Ashfaq Ahmed (54) and attacking innings from Muhammad Usman (52 from 34 balls) and debutant Darius D’Silva (24 off 15) ensured the UAE reached a more than competitive total of 181-5.

Vivian Kingma ticked up two wickets for the Dutch but conceded 47 runs from his four overs. The best bowler for the hosts was left-arm spinner Pieter Seelaar who went for just 20 runs in his four overs and picked up the scalp of Rameez Shahzad.

In reply, the UAE bowlers didn’t let the Dutch get off to a quick start as the openers reached 54 but only by the end of the eighth over. Former captain Rohan Mustafa was the best bowler on show, picking up two wickets – Ben Cooper and Scott Edwards – while giving away just 26 runs.

While the Dutch lost just four wickets, they could only finish on 168. Opener Max O’Dowd top-scored for the Dutch with 51 off 35 balls.

The second match of the series will be played at the same venue on Monday.

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UAE batsman Chirag Suri aims for U19 talent development with Rising Stars tournament

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Chirag Suri with UAE U19 players.

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.”

Pacers at the trials had their speeds checked.

Pacers at the trials had their speeds checked.

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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