Kavisha Kumari hoping FairBreak stardust will rub off on UAE cricket

National team opener recruited in Barmy Army side for invitational tournament in Dubai next week

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Reporter: Paul Radley. Sport. Kavisha Kumari. UAE's leading women's players training before their T10 exhibition match next week. Wednesday, March 31st, 2021. Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Judging by their exquisite 83-run partnership for UAE against Hong Kong on Wednesday night, Kavisha Kumari and Theertha Satish share a fine understanding.

For now, that is for the benefit of the national team. Their alliance in the first game in Ajman extended UAE’s winning sequence to 11 matches, which is the longest ongoing run in women’s T20 international cricket at present.

Next week, Kumari is hoping their affinity can be put to good use again, even though they will be on opposing sides at the FairBreak Invitational in Dubai.

Kumari, a 19-year-old all-rounder, is chuffed to be part of the Barmy Army side at the new, six-team T20 competition. Especially as it means she will get to play alongside Laura Wolvaardt, the South African batter.

Still, though, she is hopeful her UAE national team colleague Theertha might be able to smuggle her into her own dressing room at least once during the course of the event.

“I am fortunate enough to have Laura in my team,” Kumari said.

“I was looking forward to being alongside her. Also, I am Sri Lankan so I was hoping to be in the same team as Chamari Athapaththu so she could mentor me.

“I wanted to learn from her and eat her brain a bit. Unfortunately, she is in another team [the Falcons].

"She is in Theertha’s team, so I will be going along with Theertha and ask her to introduce me, saying, ‘Hi Chamari, how are you?’

UAE's Kavisha Kumari during the T20 against Hong Kong at the Ajman Oval. Pawan Singh / The National

“I want to pick her brain. A cricketer like her, coming from Sri Lanka, is a big thing for me. I always look up her innings. She is a power-hitter, just beautiful to watch.”

Four UAE players – Kumari, Theertha, Esha Oza and Chaya Mughal – are confirmed participants for the FairBreak event, where they will be mixing with some leading lights of the world game.

Rather than being daunted by the prospect of facing the likes of Sophie Ecclestone, the No 1 ranked bowler in the world, Kumari is thrilled by it.

Plus she has some decent form to back it up, too. Her match-winning half-century in the first T20I against Hong Kong at the Malek Cricket Ground was her fourth in five matches for the national team.

“I hope I can continue that for as long as possible,” said Kumari, who is a computer engineering student at Middlesex University in Dubai.

“Since the Gulf Cup I have had a good run of continuous half centuries. I want to keep this form going on and do well for my team as a batter.

“I just think about what a great opportunity this is. I don’t think about how the other team is. I just go and do my thing and hope for the best.”

Although the four locally-based players are the envy of their national team colleagues, Kumari is sure their FairBreak experience is going to work well for everyone in the women’s game.

“It is exciting that it is being played at Dubai stadium,” she said.

“It means family members can come to watch, which wouldn’t have been the case if it was in Hong Kong because of the expense.

“Now everyone can come to watch – my family, friends – and I will be getting to rub shoulders with elite players.

“Getting to learn from them is a big thing. Picking up tactics, seeing how they do this and that, means we will be able to improve even more.

“Then I can bring those tips back to my teammates as well. That will be a good fit for us as an associate nation.”

UAE beat Hong Kong in Ajman

Updated: April 29, 2022, 7:03 AM