International cricketing legend Brian Lara was in Dubai this weekend as guest of honour at the official inauguration of a new cricket academy. The GEMS Heritage Cricket Academy situated in the grounds of the recently opened GEMS Heritage Indian School is a one of its kind world-class facility. The cricket academy is open to children from as young as 3 up to 16 years old, and features state of the art technology and technology driven training by ICC qualified coaches.
Speaking to Connector on the new academy, Brian Lara said "This is very, very impressive. The fact that they want to create an environment, an academy where cricket can be played from a very early age, bodes well for the future. In the UAE we have of course a lot of different cultures, a lot of kids from all around the world, who have this opportunity in perfect weather conditions, especially between October and April. It is gong to be an awesome sight to see in about 5 to 6 years, when we see the great benefits of this.”
Also at the ceremony was Sunny Varkey Founder of GEMS Education, who said: “I am proud to see the establishment of such an important initiative to promote cricket – a sport so loved in India, my home country, as well as in the UAE, my home. I am also immensely pleased to see this special academy come to fruition as one of the standout USPs of GEMS Heritage Indian School. We are laying the foundations of a glorious cricketing future for our students, the school, GEMS Education and the nation as a whole, and I look forward to seeing the cricketing stars of tomorrow develop their skills today in our academy.”
The official inauguration also featured the launch of the Heritage Cup, an inter schools cricket tournament featuring the top talent across 21 schools in the UAE, with the aim to showcase the up and coming cricket talent in the country, and give young players the chance to put into play all they have practiced throughout the season and test their skills against each other.