x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Colin Wells to boost UAE coach Aaqib Javed for U19 World Cup

Former UAE coach to dovetail duties at school in Abu Dhabi with helping the national under 19 team’s batsmen.

Colin Wells coached the UAE team before becoming the head of cricket at the British School Al Khubairat three years back. Pawan Singh / The National
Colin Wells coached the UAE team before becoming the head of cricket at the British School Al Khubairat three years back. Pawan Singh / The National

DUBAI // The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) have sought assistance from one of their former employees after inviting Colin Wells to act as a batting consultant to the UAE under-19 side.

The age group team have begun their preparations for a season that will culminate in them playing at the Under 19 World Cup on home soil in February.

Their senior colleagues also face a busy winter ahead as the national team attempt to qualify for both the 50-over and Twenty20 world cups.

Aaqib Javed, the former Pakistan bowler, is overseeing both sides as coach of UAE cricket and the board have called on one of his predecessors to help ease the burden.

Wells was coach of the UAE team before taking up a role as head of cricket at the British School Al Khubairat three years ago. Now Aaqib hopes the former England batsman can aid his side’s bid to bridge the gap to the leading nations in the game by the time the World Cup starts.

“I wanted Colin to be part of the management team and to be in charge if I am not around as the senior coach and senior cricketer,” Aaqib said. “I want to use the maximum expertise from all over. We still have five or six months before the World Cup and we want to use it to the best.”

Wells will complement a coaching team that also includes Shah Hussain, Aaqib’s assistant, and Mohammed Hyder, the spin bowling consultant, when time permits from his day job in Abu Dhabi. He is scheduled to attend this evening’s training session at the ICC Academy in Dubai.

Wells already knows at least one of the side’s leading players well.

Dan D’Souza, the middle order batsman who was the player of the tournament when the UAE reached the final of the recent ACC Under 19 Elite Cup, is a pupil at BSAK.

“I have stayed in contact with [ECB administrator] Mazhar Khan and my former assistant Mohammed Hyder, then when I met with Aaqib he seemed happy to have me on board,” Wells said.

“Any good player has a history of having coaches help them get where they are. Being part of helping bring young talent to full fruition is exciting.”

Aaqib believes his teenage players will benefit by being exposed to new ideas from the English batting coach.

“It is exciting for us because he is an experienced cricketer,” said Aaqib, who played against Wells in English county cricket as an overseas player for Hampshire in the 1990s.

“He can offer something different to the work I am doing with the bowlers when he coaches the batsmen, and can offer new, fresh ideas. It is a good addition.”

pradley@thenational.ae