A global hub for cricket in the region, the ICC Academy’s vision has been “to become and remain the world’s leading cricket development, performance and education institute.” Speaking about the joint venture partnership between the International Cricket Council (ICC), the global governing body for the game of cricket and Dubai Sports City, Salman Hanif, head of cricket at DSC, says, the idea was to create a global hub for performance improvement in cricket.
Support the game at grassroots level, enabling domestic, recreational cricketers to access the same venue through coaching, games and competitions. More than 600 players a week attend coaching programmes, play games and compete in tournaments at ICCA. ICCA also supports the development of coaches and support staff from the grassroots level to train them to become the world’s best, both at domestic and global level.
ICCA offers training camps, competitions and consultancy services to world-class athletes. It has performance partnerships with Emirates Cricket Board and County Cricket Clubs, amongst others, and works closely with the world’s top cricket teams and nations. More than 400 players a week, aged three and upwards, receive coaching at ICC Academy either by virtue of group coaching sessions or 1:1coaching, says Hanif. “Our list of programmes include the Cricket Cubs Programme for children aged between three and six, the ADIB Warriors Programme from age groups between seven and 18 and Senior Warriors (Adults) and the Strikers Programme that supports the development of the women’s game.”
“In addition to this, we conduct education courses for adults as well and have trained more than 1,200 coaches last year with internationally-recognised and accredited coaching qualifications. A large number of these coaches are active at ICCA, working in development programmes or at cricket academies and schools across the UAE. A significant number of coaches fly in from overseas to complete courses,” adds Hanif. During the pandemic the academy has ensured that global best practices are in place to ensure maximum safety for all students and staff while still enabling them to enjoy the sport they love. “During the pandemic, we even had switched to an online mode of training,” he explains.