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Aravinda de Silva and Rameez Raja open cricket academy in Dubai

UAE is becoming a hot spot for former cricketing greats looking to set up their academies. After Kevin Pietersen, Gary Kirsten and Chaminda Vaas having set up their academies, legendary Sri Lankan batsman Aravinda de Silva and former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja have joined hands to launch an academy of their own. Named as Future Legends Cricket Academy (FLCA), it will reach out to youngsters across multiple locations in Dubai and Sharjah.

De Silva looked back at his career as he explained what made him set up the academy, which is due to open next month. “There are a lot of similarities between Rameez and I and we want to continue through this programme. I have stepped into this project to create champions and to create champions is not an easy task as it is not the talent or enthusiasm alone that makes champions. A lot of work goes behind the scene in the making of a champion.

“I started at the age of seven and after schooI I used to stay and watch our seniors practice and every time the ball came beyond the boundary line, I would run, pick the ball and throw it to the field. My dream was to represent my country. I used to listen to 1975 World Cup commentary as we did not have television at that time.

My hero was Viv Richards and every time he played a shot, I would take a golf ball and a ruler and repeat the same stroke. When I started my career, there were no coaches or television to learn the game but as soon as I entered school cricket at the age of nine, I got coaching from some ex-internationals. When many said that I was more talented than others, I never believed it and neither will I believe it now. It was the coaching and the hard work which took me to where I reached in cricket. So I want to give that experience to youngsters.”

Rameez held the view that excessive coaching could be detrimental to a player’s natural instinct and said he is not in favour of creating robots.



Aravinda and I believe in giving coaching a new flavour where the natural instinctiveness is never killed and nurture the game in a competitive way. We want to keep it simple and get the best out of these youngsters.



Naveed Nawas, a former Sri Lankan Test star, will be the head coach of the academy along with Rajesh Chauhan, a fitness coach with the Zimbabwean team. Sameer Nayak, one of top performers in UAE cricket, is also among the coaches along with former Netherlands player Asim Khan and Sri Lanka’s Sampath Perera and Gorakanage Ruvin Prasantha Peiris.

Source - Gulf News

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