Mohammad Tauqir, UAE captain in 2015 ICC World Cup and a national team selector, is now on a mission — to attract more UAE nationals into the game. A UAE national himself, Tauqir took up cricket even though the sport was not popular among his countrymen and worked hard on his game to lead the team in the biggest stage of cricket.
Tauqir wants his children too to follow his path. Like all parents, he wants his children to become better players than him and make a mark in international cricket. His aim does not end there as he also wants more UAE nationals to take up cricket and earn international fame.
Helping Tauqir in his mission is Desert Cubs Cricket Academy (DCCA). Speaking to Gulf News, Tauqir said: “Ever since I took up the game in 1997, I have put in a lot of hard work to learn the game. I strongly believe that anyone who takes up this sport and can work hard with passion can also go on to play for UAE one day.”
Though retired from the game, Tauqir take times off to give pep talks to youngsters and remind them that anyone can achieve glory through cricket with dedication and devotions.
Listening to his father’s pep talk and devotion to the game, his young sons 13-year-old Obaid and eight-year-old Omar have taken up cricket seriously. Even his daughter 12-year-old Ayesha who has seen her father work on his fitness has taken an interest in athletics. Tauqir, even at 45, still plays cricket and produces match winning spells.
Tauqir is delighted to have Desert Cup Academy helping him achieve his mission. This academy headed by former Sri Lanka international cricketer Presley Polonnowita not only works on grooming cricketers but also works hard on making them fitter through specialised fitness coaching.
“All academies should promote UAE nationals and give them an opportunity to play cricket. One of my aims is to promote cricket among UAE nationals. That is the future of cricket. I know Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and all the other nationals have come here and played. If we think of future cricket in UAE, it has to be through locals. That’s why through Desert Cubs I’m trying to encourage UAE nationals to come here and get trained and represent their own country,” said Polonnowita, who had coached Emirates Cricket Board A team in a home series.
Young Obaid wants to captain UAE like his father one day. He idolises Jacques Kallis and wants to be an all-rounder. His younger brother is a left-arm spinner and a right handed batsman whose hero is Master Blaster Viv Richards. With women’s cricket getting popular, his daughter Ayesha too loves cricket and is a fan of AB de Villiers. She is also good in the javelin throw and shot put.
Taquir’s message to his three children is special: “For those who work hard on their talents, anything is possible.”