Sharjah cricket board hosts selection trials for U16 and U19 teams

Ajit Vijaykumar 19:11 29/12/2018
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Young cricketers have a chance to be a part of Sharjah's junior teams. Image: Sport360 (for representation only).

Young cricketers hoping to make a mark in cricket in the UAE and entering a pathway to national selection have a golden opportunity this upcoming weekend.

The Sharjah Cricket is conducting a selection trial to pick Team Sharjah for the Under-16 and Under-19 teams for the Inter-Emirates National Tournament, conducted by the Emirates Cricket Board.

Young cricketers in Sharjah who wish to be a part of a pathway to national selection are encouraged to attend the trials and bring their passport and ID copies for registration.

The trials will be held at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on January 4, 2019 (Under-16 from 8-11am) and January 5, 2019 (Under-19 from 8-11am).

The Inter-Emirates tournament has been a permanent fixture on the UAE cricket calendar since 2015 when the Under-19 event was first held. It was followed by the Under-16 tournament a year later. This is the second year that Sharjah will hold open trials.

According to Mazhar Khan, general manager of Sharjah Cricket Stadium, the reason behind holding an open trial is to give a chance to as many young cricketers as possible.

“The ECB is conducting the Inter Emirates U16 and U19 tournament. So Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ajman councils are supposed to come up with their teams. We wanted to have open trials because normally what happens is that a lot of kids go to academies. So instead of we going to academies, we though ‘let’s go open’,” Khan said.

“There are a lot of kids who don’t go to academies, they don’t get opportunities. So we thought we will give them a chance as well. We will shortlist the team to about 30 initially and then cut down, give the players some practice matches and select a team for Sharjah.”

The response last year was encouraging and Khan expects the story to be the same this year as well.

“The response last year was great. This year we may get around 200 kids for U16 and maybe a little less for U19,” Khan said.

“This has been going on for two years now. The player from the U16 group move on to U19 and some of them are selected for the national team to represent the UAE. It helps the selectors to pick young players as this (Inter-Emirates) is a good, competitive tournament.”

Khan said coaches have already earmarked some names who have been performing consistently in age group cricket and that the emphasis is on selecting the most in-form players who have been playing regularly.

The Inter-Emirates National Tournament is a feeder system into the UAE national team and the Sharjah trials is the first step towards attaining that dream for young cricketers. So what are you waiting for?

WHAT: Trials for Sharjah U16 and U19 teams

WHERE: Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

WHEN: January 4, 2019 (Under-16 from 8-11am) and January 5, 2019 (Under-19 from 8-11am).

CONTACT: Email [email protected]

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