The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) held a Level 0 coaching course at the end of May. The Level 0 focuses on the basics of cricket and it went hand-in-hand with a workshop by ACC Development Officer Rumesh Ratnayake at the same time. The 'Thinking Out Of The Box' workshop was designed to provide coaches with more coaching options rather than a by-the-book approach.

Rumesh Ratnayake
Rumesh spent four days in Abu Dhabi and three in Sharjah with the workshop, which took place after he attended the ICC Development and Performance Officers Forum. "What I find in coaches nowadays is that even if they were ex-players, when they coach, they forget to utilize their experience in the sessions. I find it vital that they open up instead of going into their shell after doing coaching courses. That was my main aim - to open them up as coaches," says Rumesh.

Mazhar Khan
The 50 participants consisted of former and current cricketers as well as physical education teachers. All of them "took part very enthusiastically and are looking forward to Rumesh coming back," says Emirates Cricket Board Administrator Mazhar Khan.

Mr. Khan is confident of these new coaches doing a good job for Emirates cricket. "They got good advice and are very positive for the game. Many of the participants are still playing in league matches and by doing the Level 0 course they, along with current cricketers, can teach and help upcoming UAE talent," added Mr. Khan.

UAE squad, 2010 ACC Trophy Elite

UAE had previously dominated the ACC's senior developing nations' tournaments winning four consecutive ACC Trophies from 2000 to 2006. In 2008 they were losing finalists to Hong Kong but in the 2010 tournament they finished sixth, their worst placing in the ACC Trophy.

The search for new coaches may well be a fresh start for cricket in the Emirates. The UAE have 15 academies which run cricket coaching clinics for children. Each of these academies train close to 100 children so it is "vital that the people involved in coaching have proper training in safety and technical skills to guide the younger talent," said Mr. Khan. The participants of this course will begin coaching immediately and the ECB are hoping to conduct a Level I course for them by the end of the year.

The UAE are scouting for Emiratis to play the game in growing numbers.

Related: UAE Cricket Profile

Filed June 7th, 2010