Dubai: Former Indian fast bowler Abey Kuruvilla has been appointed coach of the UAE cricket team. Kuruvilla, who was one of the fastest bowlers during the mid-1990s, took up coaching after his retirement in 2000.

Kuruvilla will take charge of the UAE team from today and prepare them for a busy season ahead of them. UAE's preparation to qualify for the next World Cup will commence soon.

UAE are set to take part in the qualifying matches for the 2011 World Cup to be held in Namibia from November. However, the coach's immediate task will be to prepare the UAE team for an 18-day tour of Ireland and Scotland which is set to commence from June 24.

Six feet-six-inch Kuruvilla led the Indian pace attack during the tour of the West Indies in 1997. He replaced Javagal Srinath, who had to pull out due to a rotator cuff injury. Despite a good performance, Kuruvilla was dropped from the team after the series. After retiring, he decided to dedicate himself to coaching.

Kuruvilla, who was born in Mannar in Allepey (now Alappuzha) in Kerala, is among the few Keralites to have played for India. He represented Bombay (now Mumbai) and was their strike bowler for over a decade.

In the 1991-92 season, Kuruvilla took 35 wickets for Mumbai and was expected to be selected for the tour of South Africa. Unfortunately, he was ignored by the selectors.

Despite consistent performances, he was selected to play for India only in 1997. He made his Test debut against the West Indies at Kingston, Jamaica.

He had played 10 Tests and 25 one-dayers.

Many feel that had he not been ignored during his best phase, between 1992 and 1995, he would have gone on to become one of the best Indian pacers.

Kuruvilla destroyed the West Indies batting line-up in the second innings of the Bridgetown Test in 1997 with a spell of 5 for 68.

Soon after announcing his retirement, Kuruvilla, who was treated shabbily by the selectors, sportingly said: "I have no regrets. I am happy that I played for India at least for a year. There are so many good cricketers who don't get to play even one game for India. I will not complain on that count."

Kuruvilla went on to coach Kerala and guided the team into the Ranji Trophy elite group in 2003.


  • Name: Abey Kuruvilla
  • Date of birth: August 4, 1968
  • Height: 6.6 ft
  • Batting style: Right hand batsman
  • Bowling type: Right arm fast medium.
  • Retired in 2000.

Performance in Test matches:

  • Played in 10 Tests, scoring 66 runs at an average of 6.59 runs with his top score being an unbeaten 35.
  • He has taken 25 wickets, including one five-wicket haul.

Performance in ODIs:

  • Played 25 matches, scoring 26 runs at an average of 3.71 with a top score of 7.
  • Has taken 25 wickets with 4 for 43 being his best bowling figures.