ABU DHABI // A group of pupils who graduated from Al Nahda National School at the end of the last academic year have left behind a sporting legacy.
The final-year youngsters had wanted to take part in the Abu Dhabi inter-school cricket tournament and now the game has made it on to the school's sports curriculum.
So this year Adnan Abbas, the director of the school, has accepted an invitation to enter an Under 14 team in the competition organised by the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council (ADCC).
"When we received an invite, the school director asked me if I would be interested in taking charge, and I agreed because of my passion for cricket," said Shahid Maqsood, an economics teacher from Pakistan.
"It was the initiative made from some of the final-year students to play in the competition last year. Most of them have left the school for higher studies, but they have left behind a legacy.
"It was much easier to have a team in the first year as most of them were members of the Zayed Cricket Academy and were already playing. My task is now to get an Under 14 squad ready. The ADCC has been of great help and have offered us training facilities at their academy, as cricket is taking shape in the school."
Al Nahda has pupils representing more than 30 different nationalities with a majority of their students being Emiratis and expatriate Arabs.
"So the emphasis is on football, basketball, volleyball and badminton," Maqsood said. "Cricket is a favourite sport among the students from the Asian subcontinent and now they too have a game that they may enjoy."
Al Nahda made a good first impression, winning two games and losing two to finish joint-second with two others in their group, but they failed on run rate to secure a place in the knockout stage of the competition.