That winning feeling: Our Own Zenith savour their triumph in the Under-15 section of the NSL in January.
ADIB National School League (NSL) champions Our Own Zenith will get a chance to add to their trophy cabinet when they test themselves against strong English sides during this month’s ARCH Cup in the UAE.
The Sharjah outfit, who defeated Abu Dhabi Indian School by seven runs in January’s Under-15 final, will join the capital’s Zayed Academy as two home teams looking to make an impact in the 4o over competition, which begins on March 29.
King Edward’s Birmingham, Hampton, Ipswich, St John’s Leatherhead and Eton College are among the visiting schools that stand in their way of claiming glory.
For Zenith, it will be their first chance to come up against some of England’s promising youngsters having conquered the UAE’s best during the NSL this season.
Coach Fostus Xavier says his boys are looking forward to the opportunity in the ARCH (Arabian Cricket Challenge) Cup.
“It’s a great chance to play against good teams and it will be a great experience for my players,” he said.
“The English teams have a different style of playing and we have to adapt quickly because it’s a lot different to what we are used to when we play teams in the UAE.
“They will learn so many things from playing in these games and the experience will certainly be beneficial for everyone. The boys are excited and as coach, even I’m excited.”
In the Under-19 ARCH Trophy, which begins on March 27, Dubai International Academy, Dubai College, Zayed Academy and ICC Warriors will be looking to fly the UAE flag high.
But they face stern competition with Eastbourne, Cheltenham, Radley and Northern Ireland’s Royal Belfast Academical Institution also in contention.
Sporta Tours’s Managing Director, Matthew Jackson, who organises the two competitions, insists it will be a great learning curve for all the boys. “It’s crucial for the players to get experience in different environments and teams,” he said. “For the UAE-based teams, it’s very useful for them to play against international teams.
“Particularly Dubai College and Zayed Academy have found it extremely useful in developing their players and it’s a great chance to see where they stand. Given that the level of UAE cricket is improving rapidly and the sheer talent they have, the international teams will certainly be tested this summer.
“Umpiring in this part of the world is very different to what they will experience from the travelling umpires from the UK. It will be quite challenging in the hot heat but will be good experience for them,” added Jackson.
For more information and to follow the tournament, visit www.archtropy.com.
This article is adapted from the original words written by Denzil Pinto for Sport360.