England captain Eoin Morgan thinks the UAE has what it takes to build a great talent pool – Reuters Sports News
Meanwhile, Paul Stirling hailed the UAE senior national team as the best ICC associate member team in the world
Eoin Morgan (centre) and Paul Stirling (right) interact with youngsters at Zayed Cricket Academy. (Photo courtesy of Abu Dhabi Cricket Council)
It was in February 2007 that Eoin Morgan first arrived on these shores, scoring a double century for his native Ireland in a first-class game against the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi.
Fifteen years on, Morgan nestles elegantly in the upper echelons of cricket, having carved out a glorious international white-ball career that saw him become the only England captain to lift the World Cup trophy in the format 50 overs.
Last Friday, the aggressive left-handed batsman became nostalgic after attending a Q&A session with the youngsters of the Zayed Cricket Academy at the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council.
“I think there are very few countries that have the level of infrastructure and facilities (like the UAE) that can help them (young people) take a real step forward,” Morgan said. , who led a five-day practice masterclass with Irish drummer Paul. Stirling at the Zayed Cricket Academy.
Morgan, 35, said the UAE’s success in winning the ICC Under-19 World Cup Plate Division final and qualifying the senior team for the 2022 World Cup of the ICC T20 would not have been possible without the country’s world-class infrastructure.
“I played in Ireland where you need a lot of things to create a surprise as the UAE creates that and their infrastructure is growing day by day,” he said.
“I’ve been coming here since 2007. Things have completely changed and seeing the level of kids who are there now and the enthusiasm and the level of infrastructure that sports councils and cricket academies are ready to develop, it doesn’t cannot be matched by other teams.
Morgan, who played 23 one-day internationals for Ireland before leaving for the greener pastures in England, says the UAE have what it takes to build up a great talent pool.
“I remember being in the Ireland team which suddenly exploded and then they had nothing left behind us,” he recalled. “But if you have a soaring UAE team and have something behind them, there would be a level of consistency, growth and development.”
Meanwhile, Stirling, 31, hailed the UAE senior national team as the best ICC associate member team in the world.
“They have probably become the best team under the main teams echelon. They’ve beaten us four or five times in a row,” said Stirling, referring to the UAE’s dominance in recent T20 internationals against Test team Ireland.
“The results don’t lie, they’re doing well. But the big test for them will be at the T20 World Cup (in Australia). Can they improve their game to World Cup standards? That’s the question many of us ask ourselves, so it’ll be awesome to watch. And qualifying from the first stage of the World Cup all the way to the major group (Super 12) will show exactly where the team is at and show everyone what they need to do to improve.
The United Arab Emirates team led by Ahmed Raza, who beat Ireland in the final of this year’s qualifying tournament after booking their place in the T20 World Cup, impressed the highly experienced Stirling with their discipline on the pitch .
“Looks like there’s a structure in place now. They have a new coach, Robin Singh. To be honest, they seem to be doing the basics very well,” said Stirling, who scored 5,047 carries with 12 hundreds in one-day internationals.
“We’ve played against them (UAE) a lot recently. And they don’t make the same mistakes you’d assume they would make in the game. Every time they got ahead, they actually dominated. C is a drastic improvement.
“So if they keep improving, they have the infrastructure here to be as good as they want to be.”