Getting familiar to the longer formats of the game will be the emphasis for Desert Cubs Academy (DCA) cricketers when they travel to Sri Lanka for their summer tour on Monday.
The group of 70 children across four age groups – Under-11, U-13, U-15 and U-18 – will test themselves against Sri Lanka’s promising youths during the 12-day visit.
During that tour, the youths will play 30 and 40-over games and, for the first time, two-day encounters. With the talented youths familiar to T20s, head coach Presley Polonnowita insists it’s vital that they also start playing the longer version.
“We want the kids to know that cricket is more than just Twenty20 cricket,” he said.
“And if they want to succeed at the highest level, then there’s no better way than playing longer versions of the game than in Sri Lanka.
“They may find it difficult to start off with but it will help them get familiar of how to play, so that when they do play in the UAE, they can put those skills into practice.”
He added: “I want them to build up their temperament in 30 and 40-overs and two-day games.
“I remember Danube beginning this Test series for club cricketers but we need to start these things at grass-roots level.”
Among those travelling to Sri Lanka are UAE U-19 captain Waruna Perera, Macneil Noronha, who scored more than 1,500 runs this season, and Niel Lobo, who captained Our Own Zenith to ADIB U-15 NSL glory.