After the success achieved by their first academy at Dubai Sevens Stadium, the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals are ready to launch their second cricket academy in the UAE, contributing to the expansion of cricket in the nation. The Royals will inaugurate the academy at the newly-built Malek Stadium in Ajman next month.
The franchise had opened its first academy in Dubai in October 2020. They also have another such academy in London. As part of the unveiling of the academy, the Royals will host a free Open Day for children of all ages and abilities at the Malek Stadium on August 28.
Former UAE head coach and Warwickshire all-rounder Dougie Brown has been appointed as the Director of the Academy. He is also the Director of the Academy that was set up in 2020. Brown has developed the coaching programme for both the academies (Dubai & Ajman) alongside the coaches of the Royals.
“Ajman is a hub of cricket, it’s an important strategic place for the Rajasthan Royals and we want to make sure we have an impact across the whole of the UAE. In doing that, we hope that we allow UAE cricketers to express themselves and become as good as they possibly can be,” said Brown.
Royals have a total of three such academies including the ones in London and Dubai, making Ajman their third project.
Mike Fordham, CEO, Royals Sports Group (EM Sporting Holdings Ltd.), the holding company of Rajasthan Royals, added: “The Royals academy in Ajman is another key milestone for us, part of our overall global vision. UAE is a major modern-day sporting hub, and with excellent support and demand for cricket. We felt it was imperative to have another Royals academy in the country with greater access to the wider population.
“The academy in Ajman will help provide opportunities to the population outside of Dubai, to train and learn amidst world-class facilities and coaches. The academy will form part of our global vision to engage a larger cricketing population, whilst driving the Royals brand in key strategic markets,” Fordham said.
Meanwhile, the Royals are ready to get back in action as the IPL 2021 is all set to kick start on September 19. The Royals play their first match of the second leg of IPL 2021 against Punjab Kings on September 21 in Dubai.