x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

UAE role is an ideal one for young coach Aaqib Javed

As a young coach, away from the bright lights of big league cricket but within an established set-up, the move looks right for both sides.

The UAE coach Aaqib Javed, far left, sits with officials of Emirates Cricket Board.
The UAE coach Aaqib Javed, far left, sits with officials of Emirates Cricket Board.

Aaqib Javed began his new life yesterday. It was officially his first day as the new head coach of the UAE side. It will be odd to see him in any role outside of Pakistan cricket so long has he been associated within the set-up there.

It is easy to forget that in the 10 months between his international debut and that of Waqar Younis, Aaqib was the next big thing, a genuinely exciting outswing prospect.

Despite serving Pakistan impeccably, the sheer brightness of Waqar's career meant Aaqib's slipped into the shadows. Since then, he has kind of remained there, ever-present either in the National Cricket Academy or with the senior and junior sides in a coaching capacity.

He knows the game, that is evident from even brief chats and he enjoys talking about it, especially the many, maddening technicalities of fast bowling.

And to the young players who have gone through the academy or worked with him at Under 19 level, he has had a positive impact. What impact he has had, or been allowed to have, on the national team is more open to question. Working in any coaching capacity for the Pakistan Cricket Board is not easy.

In a sense, the UAE role is an ideal one for him, as a young coach, away from the bright lights of big league cricket but within an established set-up. He will become aware soon enough of the unique challenges of coaching an associate nation, where players are unable to focus simply on cricket.

Promisingly, he wants to be involved in finding ways to improve the domestic set-up of the game in the country.

In so many ways then, this move looks right for both sides, promising to bring as much to the UAE as it does to Aaqib.

osamiuddin@thenational.ae

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