Dubai: UAE women cricketer Esha Oza has made the International Cricket Council (ICC) take note of her performances — the 20-year-old UAE’s opening batswoman and off-spinner has been selected into the ICC Women’s Global Development Squad.
Oza figures among top cricketers picked from countries such as Ireland, Bangladesh, Netherlands, Uganda and Papua New Guinea. The Global Development team will play five matches against the Women Kia Super League side, which is made up of top international women cricketers.
Oza, who is part of the UAE team that will play in the ICC Women’s World T20 Cup qualifiers from July 3-14 in the Netherlands, will fly from the Netherlands to England for the Global Development team’s matches.
Speaking to Gulf News, Oza said: “I am delighted to have got a chance to play against some of the great women cricketers. It is going to be something I will cherish all my life. I cannot explain the excitement.”
Oza has piled up 950 runs from her 19 matches. “I learnt cricket at the Desert Cubs Cricket Academy where I have been training for the last five years. I make sure to train regularly under guidance of head coach Presley Polonnowita. I have scored two centuries this season. The first century was against Madina Victoria Cricket Academy and another against the visiting Under-17 Australian Boys team representing Desert Cubs.”
Oza, who hails from Mumbai in India, came to the UAE when she was only eight months old. She is currently studying Business Management at the University of Wollongong in Dubai.
Thanking Emirates Cricket Board for providing the opportunity to play for the Global Development team, she said: “I am thankful to all my coaches who helped me reach this stage, especially UAE coach Murali Sockalingam, who has worked very hard to help me improve my game. I try to do better in every match and every tournament that I play. My parents have been very supportive, providing all help to ensure that I don’t miss my training. In this season’s ECB Women’s National T20 League, I was the highest run-scorer with 337 runs from matches with the highest of an unbeaten 101. I was also the joint highest wicket-taker with eight wickets and clinched the No. 1 rank in the Most Valuable Player (MVP) list.”
The Global Development matches is being organised following a partnership between the ICC and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) with the aim of providing exposure to teams outside the top-eight ranked sides that featured in the ICC Women’s Championship and make World Twenty20Is more competitive in the coming years.
“As of now, only one player from UAE has been chosen for this squad, but I hope that in the future my teammates also get a chance. I hope I can perform well and can show them that there are many talented players in the UAE as well,” said Oza.