Rajasthan Royals double their presence in UAE with new academy in Ajman

IPL franchise will add a new site for coaching to its existing location in Dubai

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Rajasthan Royals have expanded their footprint in the UAE after announcing the opening of a new academy in Ajman.

The Indian Premier League franchise will begin coaching classes at a site at Malek Stadium in the emirate next month.

It is the second academy affiliated to the franchise in the country. The Royals inaugurated their first site at The Sevens, Dubai, when the IPL was relocated to the country last year.

The two UAE bases are just the second and third Royals academies based outside of India, with the first being in London.

Dougie Brown, the former UAE coach and England international, will be the academy director, taking over from former Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer.

“It’s very exciting for us to expand Royals’ academy presence here in the UAE,” Brown said.

“Geographically, we wanted to create a much bigger footprint for excellence across the UAE as we know the coaching of our programmes is world class.

“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.”

In addition to the permanent presence of Brown, inductees to the academy will likely benefit from the expertise of some of the franchise’s leading stars.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Reporter: Paul Radley. Sport. Cricket. Shane Warne. Girls trials for Rajasthan Royals cricket academy. Wednesday, October 14th, 2020. The Sevens, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Shane Warne, Kumar Sangakkara and Lisa Sthaleker have made guest appearances at the Dubai academy in the past, while some of the Royals first-team players have conducted seminars remotely.

The Ajman site will host will host a free open day for children of all ages and abilities on Saturday, August 28.

“The Royals academy in Ajman is another key milestone for us, part of our overall global vision,” Mike Fordham, the chief executive of the Royals’ parent company, said.

“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.”

Updated: August 12, 2021, 9:40 AM