Abu Dhabi Cricket signs up former South African star to develop coaching in the UAE capital
Abu Dhabi Cricket (ADC), the organisation which promotes the game and community sports in the UAE capital, has partnered with the world-leading coaching operation run by Gary Kirsten, the former South African international and World Cup-winning coach.
As part of the accord, a Gary Kirsten cricket coach has joined Abu Dhabi Cricket in a full-time role and four coaching camps will be run by his team throughout the year.
"This partnership significantly elevates the coaching opportunities open to aspiring cricketers in the UAE through our Zayed Cricket Academy and underlines Abu Dhabi Cricket’s commitment to delivering sporting growth opportunities to the local community," said Talal Al Hashemi, board member, ADC.
The partnership follows the success of a Gary Kirsten Camp held in the spring holiday. This winter ADC will work with Gary Kirsten Cricket to roll out high-performance camps for more senior cricketers who want to take their skills to the next level.
The camps will run from October 31-25 and October 28 to November 1, state news agency WAM reported.
"Gary Kirsten himself will be in Abu Dhabi to personally lead these camps. This means our enrolled cricketers will have the chance to learn from a true record breaker who is renowned for inspiring self-discipline amongst some of the world’s greatest players a rare opportunity indeed," Al Hashemi added.
Kirsten, the current Royal Challengers Bangalore batting coach in the Indian Premier League, is noted for his record-equalling score of 275 against England, an innings that lasted over 14 hours and 30 minutes.
He also still holds the record for the highest innings by a South African in a one-day international of 188 not-out against the UAE during the 1996 World Cup.
"I have been seriously impressed with the improvements to the Abu Dhabi Cricket infrastructure, in particular, the facilities available to academy students and to the footballing community, which are now truly world-class. I have come here many times over the years, with England Lions and in other coaching capacities, and this is the best I have ever seen the facility. It is fast becoming one of the world’s best cricketing facilities," said Kirsten.
Matt Boucher, Acting CEO of ADC, added: "It is another fantastic partnership for us and represents a major stride forward in ADC’s journey to becoming a prestigious hub for international sport and in particular cricket, which will be further enhanced this year by our packed international cricket programme."
This year, Abu Dhabi Cricket’s newly expanded 25,000-seater Zayed Cricket Stadium will be co-hosting the Asian Cup and will once again be an overseas home to the Pakistan Cricket Board’s bilateral series against Australia and New Zealand.
"We are also working on launching a major new tournament initiative, which will see some of the world’s cricketing legends descend on the UAE capital this winter, details of which we hope to unveil shortly," Boucher added.