This weekend sees the first of two trial sessions as part of the new South Asian Cricket Academy in partnership with Cricket Scotland (SACACS).
The programme, which will be based at the National Cricket Academy in Edinburgh and Hutchesons’ Grammar School in Glasgow, will run throughout the winter with a SACA squad to be selected at the end of the trials. From this squad, the best players will have the opportunity to train with and represent the SACA First XI, who play against various counties in England.
There was a high level of interest in the coaching roles for this programme and SACA were delighted that after their recruitment process, an experienced coaching team has been selected as follows:
- High Performance Manager Scotland – Sai Majeed
- Lead Spin Coach Scotland & Assistant Spin Coach England – Majid Haq
- Lead Batting Coach Scotland – Usman Saeed
- Batting Coach North England – Kyle Coetzer
- Lead Fielding Coach Scotland – Ramzan Mohammed
- Lead Seam Coach Scotland – Colin Siller
Commenting on the programme, Cricket Scotland’s Toby Bailey said “It will be great to see the talent on show on the next two Sundays before a squad is picked in the new year. SACA in partnership with Cricket Scotland will give opportunities for South Asian Scots to showcase their skills and enable players and coaches to fast-track into the SACA UK system.
“We have already seen this with players representing SACA last year and now we are delighted to see that Adil Ghaffar will be moving to Birmingham on a full-time basis for the winter.
“We are also pleased to see new coaches getting involved in the program. We look forward to seeing homegrown coaching talents Kyle Coetzer and Majid Haq working together with SACA in the English regions and with Scotland-based SACA players respectively.”
One of the players selected for the programme, Adil Ghaffar, is looking forward to having the opportunity to join SACA’s full-time winter programme in Birmingham. Adil said “I am very happy to be given the opportunity from a programme where I can live the day to day life of a professional athlete. Given the chance to train four times a week will be key in my development to get to the next level and achieve my dreams of being a professional cricketer.
“Having come very close in the past, I feel I am now at the right stage in my career to make the next step up into the professional and international game and this opportunity will give me the right tools to succeed.
“I would like to thank Tom Brown and Toby Bailey for putting my name forward and hope that this can create a future pathway for young cricketers trying to break into the professional game.”