Dubai: The UAE’s Desert Cubs Cricket Academy’s budding youngsters have returned richer in experience after training at the Centre for Sports Science (CSS)-Whatmore Centre for Cricket in Chennai. Dav Whatmore, a World Cup-winning coach, is the Director and Head Coach of the academy.
Speaking to Gulf News, Presley Polonnowita, Head Coach of the Desert Cubs Academy, said: “We wanted to give the boys a different experience during the winter break and took them to Chennai to experience something different but tough and to improve their skills. After we had recently conducted Dave Whatmore’s Master Class programme here there was a big demand in the academy to get more high profile training under him and from his group of coaches.”
Desert Cubs picked three teams in the age category of under 13 (two teams) and under 15 for the 14-day tour. “The boys trained with most modern equipment like Pitch Vision and Hawk eye. They were put through strenuous indoor and outdoor training programme. The CSS Academy had organised top quality clubs and schools teams to play against us in 40 and 50 over games. In all, we played nine matches and evenings were meant for discussion on the various techniques,” added Presley.
Soon after taking charge at the CSS, Whatmore told Gulf News: “The reason I choose to coach in this centre is the outstanding facilities for not only cricket but in sports science too.”
Presley, who is satisfied with the exposure, said: “The programme and coaching itineraries were planned in such a way that kids feel like gaining international level coaching. Chennai is a tough terrain to get adapted to and to deliver the best and hence we wanted our boys to get tested against local teams. It would also be helpful for some of the Indian boys who plan to continue their cricket in India. It was a great opportunity to play so many longer version games against the quality teams, which is very much lacking in the UAE cricket circuit at present due to unavailability of facilities for most of the academies,” added Presley.