The ICC Global Cricket Academy (ICC GCA), based at Dubai Sports City, was officially launched today with the world-class, state-of-the-art facilities being put through their paces for the first time in the Dubai sunshine.
Present at the launch was ICC President Sharad Pawar, ICC Vice-President Alan Isaac and several members of the ICC Board as well as ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat. There on behalf of Dubai Sports City were its founding partners while Dubailand was represented by its Chief Executive Mohammed Al Habbai.
The assembled guests, who also included management and staff of the ICC, whose headquarters is located just a few metres from the ICC GCA, enjoyed a tour of the spectacular indoor and outdoor facilities at the academy. They also watched a game taking place on the main oval, a grassroots youth programme happening on the second oval and practice sessions in the indoor and outdoor nets.
ICC President Sharad Pawar said: “This outstanding academy will provide a pathway for the world’s current and emerging international players to excel. It will also become the centre of excellence for cricket’s best and brightest administrators, coaches, umpires and curators.
“With its state-of-the-art programmes, facilities and coaches, the ICC GCA will provide a home for a wide range of our stakeholders from both the traditional Full Members and the developing Associate and Affiliate Members. We believe the ICC GCA is key in making our great sport, even greater,” said Mr Pawar.
Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, Managing Director of Dubai Sports City said: “This is indeed a historic and momentous occasion for world cricket and another significant milestone in the evolution of Dubai Sports City. This academy project has come about through our excellent partnership with the ICC.
“It is the philosophy of Dubai Sports City to create partnerships and be associated with the best of breeds in all sports. Pivotal to this philosophy is the development of sportsmen and women at all levels – from amateur to professional. We firmly believe that we are creating an environment in which this ambition can be fulfilled. Dubai Sports City is delighted to have the ICC Global Cricket Academy as part of our offering.
“The academy is world class and will provide top training conditions for elite cricketers from all over the world. It will also have a significant and positive impact on UAE cricket.
“The ingenuity of the various programmes and the design of the ICC GCA enable young and developing cricketers to benefit immensely. This is a great day,” said Mr Bukhatir.
The ICC GCA will provide state-of-the-art facilities with indoor and outdoor pitches, complemented by the latest technology to allow coaches to assess all areas of a player’s game.
As part of the plan to create the best training facility in the world, the ICC GCA is reproducing a variety of pitch types, which will replicate the playing surface conditions of the UK, Asian sub-continent and Australia. The work involves importing specific types of clay, soil and turf using varying preparation and agronomic practices to replicate the characteristics of each surface.
The ICC GCA boasts some of the world’s top coaches under the directorship of former Australia wicketkeeper Rodney Marsh, including other former Test players Mudassar Nazar from Pakistan and Dayle Hadlee of New Zealand. Together they will help train and develop the best talent in world cricket as well as local players so as to improve the standard of the sport across the United Arab Emirates.
The three coaches will implement specific elite programmes, provide coaching education courses and support grassroots development to make the ICC GCA a centre of excellence, innovation and education for world cricket.
In general, the ICC GCA will be an important focal point for international cricketing excellence and education. Situated in Dubai Sports City, the academy will provide a unique environment for coaching, game education and training in outstanding facilities with some of the games best coaches.
The ICC GCA will also afford the opportunity to players, coaches, umpires, curators and administrators from across the ICC’s 105 Members to benefit from programmes and courses, creating a vibrant and integrated cricket community.
Those wishing to use the facility can contact the ICC GCA and its activities through its website, www.iccgca.com, or by calling the ICC GCA directly on +9714 425 1111 or +97150 640 5759.