Gulf news Back to the drawing board for UAE cricket team after Scotland defeats

Back to the drawing board for UAE cricket team after Scotland defeats

This content was originally posted in 7DAYS UAE website at: Back to the drawing board for UAE cricket team after Scotland defeats

UAE cricket team

UAE cricket team

When the UAE cricket team set out for their short tour of Scotland for one Intercontinental Cup and two World Cricket League championship games, both the players and coach Paul Franks were full of hope.

The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) had taken a giant stride by offering annual contracts for players that made the team fully professional and marked the beginning of a new era in UAE cricket.

Not even moving from the sweltering heat of Dubai to the chilly wet weather in the UK could dampen the players’ spirits.

But it wasn’t just the weather that was new; the pitches in the UK were completely different from the slow turners back in the UAE.

Therefore the ECB decided to call in former England batsman Owais Shah to share his experiences with the players and help them adjust to the bouncier and nippier surfaces.

The fact that coach Franks and Shah were former England teammates was an added advantage to for UAE.

“I’ve known him for a very long time. We’ve played together for England U-19s, England A and attended numerous camps,” Franks told 7DAYS before the matches against Scotland.

“His understanding of batting in the UK as an Asian-born player is very important.

“He helped the lads, particularly the top six, understand the responsabilities of setting up the game.”

Former England wicketkeeper Chris Read and Nottinghamshire teammate Paul Franks tell 7Days about working with the UAE cricket team during a three-week training camp at the ICC Academy ahead of next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

However, despite the advice of Shah and Franks the UAE were unable to come away with a victory. They shared the spoils in the four-day game against Scotland, with weather limiting the game to just two days.

Then the UAE suffered two comprehensive defeats, losing the first ODI by 98 runs and the second by seven wickets.

“A few dropped catches cost us the first match,” said team manager Mazhar Khan.

Captain Amjad Javed too felt that fielding lapses cost them the game as the batsmen were left chasing a tough target.

Discussing the second game, Khan added: “We were sitting pretty at 140-odd for four wickets but the middle order failed and overall I think Scotland played a better game and we did not perform to our potential.”

Khan alluded to fact that the players could have better implemented the team plans and Shah’s batting advice, but also suggested that it was just the beginning and playing in different conditions and pitches would make the team better in the long run.

“It was a great learning experience for the boys. They got to bowl shorter lengths than what they usually bowl back home and the conditions too were new for them,” he said.

“We should have given a better performance than what we did and there are few areas that need to be addressed.”

With the tour done and dusted the onus is now on the board to assess what needs to be done going forward. Mainly, who will be the UAE’s new coach?

Franks was roped in as interim coach after the departure of Aqib Javed and has already moved on with other assignments in England and will not accompany the team back to Dubai.

The board has taken positive steps towards creating the right atmosphere for development of cricket in the UAE.

With the best of the ICC’s facilities in their own backyard they are also seeing encouraging responses from Emiratis.

Their decisions in the coming days will hold the key to UAE cricket’s foray into becoming a force within the Associated Nations of the ICC.

Durgesh Haridas

Read the original story at: Back to the drawing board for UAE cricket team after Scotland defeats