Rajasthan Royals used the Sevens facilities for net session and practice matches for the ongoing IPL 2020. Image Credit: Supplied photo

Dubai: The UAE will have it’s first cricket academy from a IPL franchise when the Rajasthan Royals UAE academy is launched at the Emirates 7s grounds in Dubai on October 12.

This is the franchise’s first academy in the Middle East and its second global cricket academy after Surrey in the UK, a step seen by the management towards establishing their global presence as a cricketing brand and promoting the sport around the world. RedBear Sports, a local sports consulting firm, will be their partners in the project.

Speaking on the launch of the academy, Jake Lush McCrum, COO of Royals said on zoom: “We’re delighted to launch our first Royals academy in the UAE. The UAE is a modern hub for cricket, with players and teams from around the globe visiting due to its world-class infrastructure and facilities, such as those in the Sevens facility. The large sub-continent population makes it a great place for cricket to grow and expand and we are delighted to support in this process and to strengthen the already rapidly improving UAE national side.”

“Through this academy, we hope to accentuate the growth of the sport in the country, providing resources and structure to training that helps the talented youngsters to take the step to the next level, “ added Lush McCrum.

Girls and boys, starting from six years to 19, will be able to access coaching, with participants having the option of choosing between one-to-one sessions, group sessions, or specialist camps, all founded on the Rajasthan Royals ‘total cricket’ ethos. Sessions will take place under the guidance of Academy Director and former Zimbabwe captain, Graeme Cremer and his qualified coaching team.

The Sevens Stadium facility, known for hosting the Emirates Airline Rugby 7s, acted as one of the venues alongwith the ICC Academy and Sharjah Stadium for the IPL teams’ nets sessions and practice matches this season. The venue has two standard ovals with floodlights, six floodlit turf nets and fully equipped changing rooms.

Asked if the location of the facility on Dubai-Al Ain Road on the outskirts of the city can be a deterrent in terms of response from parents in sending their children, Will Kitchen, co-owner of RedBear Sports said: ‘‘The way Dubai has grown, the venue is accessible now with short drive from several points of the city. The extra drive is worth in trying to send their children to a world class facility like this.’’