Dubai: Two of the UAE’s most promising cricketers enjoyed a momentous occasion this week when they were honoured with scholarships by none other than West Indies’ dashing opening batsman Chris Gayle here.
Sixteen-year-old Shorye Chopra and Kartik Shekar won the Spartan Scholarship based on their outstanding performances for UAE junior team and in domestic tournaments. Both Chopra and Shekar were stunned and delighted when they heard they were selected for the scholarship and would receive it from Gayle.
Sun and Sand Sport, who conducted a country-wide search for budding talent, selected Chopra and Shekar, who are students of the G Force Cricket Academy.
Speaking to Gulf News, Gopal Jasapara, the Head Coach of the G Force Academy, said: “Sun and Sand Sports had requested all cricket acadamies in the UAE to propose cricketers for the scholarship. We provided the detailed credentials of Chopra and Shekar. Everyone at the academy was thrilled when Sun and Sand Sports informed us that our two cricketers have got selected.”
Chopra has played for the UAE Under-19 team, hitting a match-winning century against Nepal in the Asian Cricket Council tournament in Malaysia, and has scored consistently in school and academy matches. Shekar captained the UAE Under-16 team in 2012 and has scored many centuries for his teams.
Chopra and Shekar will get to use the Spartan bat that both Gayle and Australia captain Michael Clarke use in international cricket. In all, the teenagers each received Spartan cricket equipment worth more than Dh5,000.
Gayle mixed freely with the two players and expressed his delight when he heard that former West Indies captain Jimmy Adams had coached the two boys from an early age.
“Play hard and keep practicing,” Gayle told them.