Ravichandran Ashwin assists UAE Women for World T20
What's the story?
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who is not a part of India's limited-overs set up currently, utilised his time in Dubai to mentor the UAE Women's team for their upcoming World T20 Qualifiers. "I always wanted to give back to the game. It was fun interacting with them. I spoke to them about both the technical and mental aspects of the game. They have the talent and showed a lot of promise. I'm sure they will go on to do well," Ashwin said.
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The UAE Women have made it to the ICC World T20 Qualifiers for the first time since they began playing the game in 2007. The Qualifiers for the 2018 event, which will be played in West Indies this November, will be held in the Netherlands in July. Already in Dubai to mentor children as part of the Gen-Next Kings cricket clinic, Ashwin spent two hours with the UAE Women, who, for the first time, had approached an international cricketer to interact and conduct an engrossing session with them.
The heart of the matter
The team, with captain Humaira Tasmeen and coach Murali Chockalingam, were “star-struck” by Ashwin's presence in their camp, who took over the duties of throw-downs and provided them lengthy advise regarding batting. "For a while we were star-struck by his sheer presence, humbleness and motivating inputs," Tasmeen told the Times of India.
The 22-year-old went on to add how India's premier off-spinner in Test cricket went on to help her side. "Previously we had trained with some of the women stars from the Big Bash League here. But this was a different experience for all of us. Ashwin was keen on turning our weaknesses into strengths. He made our training methods more intense. He was superb in technical analysis, read each individual and stressed what had to be worked on. It was a big learning experience ahead of our World Cup qualifiers," said Tasmeen.
A fantastic move from an experienced cricketer like Ashwin, who has found success across all formats at the international level, will have helped a rising side like UAE Women to gain in confidence at the highest stage. Assistance from him in both the departments will go a long way in helping them garner more knowledge about the game.