UAE cricketers gear up for Nepal challenge - GulfToday

UAE cricketers gear up for Nepal challenge

UAE cricketers gear up for Nepal challenge

Sadia Wajid, principal of Al Sadiq School inaugurates the cricket pitch at the school premises in the presence of other dignitaries.

SHARJAH: While most of the schools in UAE are shut for summer vacations, the locker rooms at the Al Sadiq School, Dubai are still buzzing with activity.

The Young Cricket Talent Academy (YTCA) are fine-tuning their skills at the newly-inaugurated cricket pitch at the school in preparation for the U-17 YTCA Invitation Cup 2019. The tournament is set to take off on Saturday at the Oval Cricket Stadium in Ajman.

The first tournament of the upcoming season will have the participation of five teams.

Four teams from the UAE and a visiting team from Nepal – Great Himalaya Cricket Academy -- will complete the line-up of the week-long tournament.

Apart from the YTCA Ajman team, the others UAE teams include Kings Cricket Academy, Dhoni Cricket Academy and Victoria Cricket Academy.

Osama Khan who will captain the YTCA Ajman side is hoping to carry his fine form from the UK Tour 2019 into the tournament.

“Though it took me some time to get acclimatised to the UK conditions, I learnt a lot playing against players from other countries.

“I hope to put into play what I learnt on the tour in this tournament. And,hopefully we can win the trophy,” said Khan, who was adjudged the Man of the Match in the UK Tour’s opening match played against the Swiss national side. “I had a very good time taking early wickets for my team on the UK tour. And I hope I can do that good in this tournament,” said the all-rounder while training on the Sadiq School turf. The school has been sprucing up their sports facilities and the cricket pitch launched recently by Principal Sadia Wajid has given a boost to students keen on cricket.

Speaking on the tournament, Shahzad Altaf, organiser and head coach at the YTCA, was upbeat that the tournament will stand young cricketers in good stead when the season gets in full swing after the summer break.

“Our boys have just returned from a successful UK tour and this tournament will test them further.

“With the weather being what it is now in UAE, the conditions here are in sharp contrast to those they played under in Leicestershire, UK. But it will give them a headstart for the upcoming season,” said Shahzad.

“Though some of our players who participated in the UK tour are on vacation in their home countries, we have a strong side and are confident of success.

“Of course we have an equally strong team coming from Nepal, so we are expecting a tough challenge from them,” he added.

YTCA Ajman open their campaign against Victoria CA at the Oval on Saturday at 7 am while on the following day they take on Dhoni CA at the Skyline Dubai Ground, again in an early morning tie.

“The Nepal side will play their first match only on Tuesday when they face Dhoni CA at the MCC ground at 4pm. The final will take place on Aug.31 at the Oval.

Agnelo Rodrigues, Special Correspondent

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