Sharjah: Mohammad Tauqir, who captained the UAE in the ICC 2015 Cricket World Cup is a happy man.
His 10-year-old son Omar is following in his father’s footsteps and has picked up numerous awards for his skills on the cricket field.
Omar, who is a Grade 5 student at the Victoria International School of Sharjah, bagged the Player of the Tournament award while leading the Desert Cubs to victories in the Young Talent Cricket Academy (YTCA)-Victoria Five Nation Cup Under-10 tournament.
In the Desert Cubs Gen Next Fiesta Cup he played a big role in Tigers’ triumph and won the player of the final and best player of the tournament.
Omar, who practises the game at the Desert Cubs Academy under the guidance of coach Presley Polonowitta and Indika Batu, had also won the Most Valuable Player of the tournament player in the Desert Cubs U-11 Junior Challenge Trophy — scoring 167 runs and taking six wickets. He proudly presents his awards to his father who inspired him to take up cricket.
Today, Omar is among the most promising UAE national players.
Incidentally, his father Mohammad was the second Emirati to have captained the UAE in the World Cup after Sultan Zarawani had led the team in 1996.
Speaking to Gulf News, Mohammad said: “I am happy cricket runs in his blood and he is very interested in the game and is performing consistently. I would be happy if his performance can inspire many more Emiratis to take up cricket. More young Emiratis should play the game and that way we can have a good team of all-Emiratis one day.”
In the YTCA-Victoria Five-Nation Cup U-10 tournament, Omar played a captain’s knock of 71 not out. He followed it up by scoring 126 runs and grabbing six wickets with his slow left-arm spin.
Omar has a dream. “Like my father I want to play for the UAE at the international level. I idolise Virat Kohli and try to never give up my wicket,” Omar said.
Last year in the U-10 Gulf Cup, he hit an unbeaten 91 runs off just 38 balls with three sixes and 15 boundaries. In the annual gala dinner for the Desert Cubs he was rewarded as the best batsman in the U-11 age group.
Mohammad, who is also a UAE national team selector, takes time to train Omar at home as well as at the Desert Cubs academy. “I have guided my children into sports. My eldest son Obaid is a good batsman and my daughter Ayesha is a good swimmer,” said Mohammad, who works for Standard Chartered Bank in Dubai and had top scored for UAE in this debut One-Day International match against India.
He is an accurate off-spinner who top scored for with 55 runs in the UAE’s total of 144 against India in the 2004 Asia Cup at Dambulla.
“I am happy that Omar is growing up to be an all-rounder,” he said. “It is through sheer hard work I could perform at the international level. I want UAE as a team to progress and do well at the international level.”