UAE cricket needs strong marketing team [Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)]
(Gulf News (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) David East, chief executive of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), has expressed his desire to see UAE become a One-Day International team.
The recent performances of the national team also reveal that they can aim towards the goal, provided the ECB approaches this objective in a professional manner.
The UAE team has done well recently, mainly due to the shrewd coaching of Aaqib Javed, who was able to transform the squad into a winning unit by harnessing the determination and passion of a group of cricketers. Now the ECB must also play its role more effectively.
The UAE will be playing in the World Twenty20 next year and are likely to qualify for the 50-over World Cup in 2015 as well.
A bunch of players who can play like professionals is needed, with them being able to devote more time to the game. Talks about introducing a central contracting system have been on for a long time, but these have remained mere plans.
It should be recalled that the UAE qualified to play in the 1996 World Cup by beating Bangladesh, who are now a Test-playing country. While Bangladesh went on to scale great heights, the UAE's standards kept slipping.
This was mainly because no one bothered to do anything for the players or the team, hoping that miracles would happen again and that the team would qualify for another World Cup with part-time players.
Thanks to some of the leading companies and clubs that had hired some good players, today the UAE has some quality players, and under Javed's guidance the team have also qualified for a World Cup after nearly 17 years. Rather than wait for UAE to play in the World Cup and then hope to generate funds, the ECB should get its act together to generate revenue right away. It's high time the board has an effective and hard-working marketing team, otherwise the team will encounter the same fate as that of the 1996 UAE World Cup team.
For a team to be successful, the board must invest in its players. The UAE Under-19 team recently shocked the England counterparts to exhibit their potential.
For these youngsters to remain in this country, the board must be ready to offer them something very attractive. The Dubai Cricket Council at one time used to offer scholarships to talented cricketers, but the ECB is still to reward any budding cricketer. Except for the Shyam Bhatia awards that honours outstanding performers, the ECB has never rewarded a top performer. Only words with no action has no place in modern cricket.
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