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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Abu Dhabi Cricket signs two-year deal with Gary Kirsten coaching school

The first of four camps for high performance young cricketers from the UAE and overseas will be held in October by Gary Kirsten Cricket

Gary Kirsten took time out to provide some coaching tips to the youngsters at the Zayed Cricket Academy in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. Photos courtesy Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
Gary Kirsten took time out to provide some coaching tips to the youngsters at the Zayed Cricket Academy in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. Photos courtesy Abu Dhabi Sports Council.

The UAE's young cricket players are set for a benefit from the coaching skills of Gary Kirsten, the former South African batsman and World Cup-winning coach of India, and his team following an agreement with Abu Dhabi Cricket.

The first two camps for high performance young cricketers from the UAE and overseas will be held in October after Abu Dhabi Cricket (ADC) on Tuesday signed a two-year deal with Gary Kirsten Cricket (GKC). The camps will run October 21-25 and October 28-November 1.

“I’m looking forward to getting involved as well in coaching all age groups, which I just enjoy doing,” said Kirsten who took time off from his role as assistant coach of the Indian Premier League side Royal Challengers Bangalore to fly to Abu Dhabi.

“The main goal for us here in Abu Dhabi is to create a recognisable cricket and credible community that can become a hub in the cricketing world.

“I think that’s already been created and we would like to add some credibility to the best we can. We are a coaching business and we’ll go anywhere in the world to do that. I think that’s what separates us from the others.”

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Kirsten, who played 101 Tests and 185 one-day internationals for South Africa, guided the Proteas to No 1 in the ICC Test rankings in 2012 and led India to World Cup success in 2011.

Kirsten said the capital was the ideal location to conduct coaching clinics, explaining: “The one benefit Abu Dhabi has is it’s a centralised region and it’s easy for us, South Africans, do some work here and equally for cricket around the world it’s a great location."

On the partnership with ADC, Kirsten, 50, said the objective was to provide Abu Dhabi Cricket with the kind of coaching expertise that would make it a magnet for the game's aspiring stars to hone their skills.

“They have a big vision to grow this game in this region with the support of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council,” he added.

“What I have heard is there is an importance to grow the game of cricket. We run a coaching operation around the world for the last five to six years, and we have a fair amount of experience.

“That’s what we can offer and the value that we can bring to this region. Under the contract we are going to run four camps during the season beginning from October.

“We got credibility in their eyes and they feel that we can add value to our stay. That’s our intention.”

Oscar Nouhous has been appointed as the resident coach at ADC. He has already been on the job for more than two months on a trial basis and will continue in the role for the remainder of the two-year deal.

Matt Boucher, acting chief executive of ADC, said the arrangement with GKC could be extended beyond the initial two-year agreement if it proved a success

“It’s part of the master plan to increase the capability inside the Zayed Cricket Academy" which comes under ADC's management, he said.

“We want to focus more on the junior programme like as we have done before by bringing that element of real world-class professionalism.”