Daryll Cullinan aims to produce smart cricketers in UAE

Daryll Cullinan (third from left) with officials from Kricket’s Spero and MS Dhoni Cricket Academy during a press conference in Dubai on Saturday. (Supplied photo)
Daryll Cullinan (third from left) with officials from Kricket’s Spero and MS Dhoni Cricket Academy during a press conference in Dubai on Saturday. (Supplied photo)

Dubai - Cullinan, the fulcrum of South African batting in the 1990s, is the director of coaching at the MS Dhoni Cricket Academy



by

Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Sat 12 Dec 2020, 7:56 PM

Last updated: Sat 12 Dec 2020, 8:07 PM

In the era of multi-format cricket, producing ‘smart cricketers’ should be the aim of cricket coaches, Daryll Cullinan said in his speech during a press conference to announce the partnership between Kricket’s Spero academy and MS Dhoni Cricket Academy on Saturday.

Cullinan, the fulcrum of South African batting in the 1990s, is the director of coaching at the MS Dhoni Cricket Academy.

And the South African batting great, who scored over 4500 runs from 70 Test matches at 44.21 with 14 hundreds (highest score 275 not out), is confident about producing cricketers in the UAE that could play the game the MS Dhoni way.

“It’s really great to be associated with MS Dhoni who really transcended the game of cricket. You only have to look at the accolades and the recognition that he got when he retired, not only from the public, bur from the media as well as the fellow professionals from other countries, it just shows how respected he has been and continues to be,” Cullinan said.

“And the first thought that came to my mind when I arrived here was that we have to produce smart cricketers from the age of seven. We want to produce cricketers that can play the game the way MS Dhoni played his cricket, the smart cricket. Not only the cricket brilliance, the leadership qualities, on and off the field.”

The academy, which began their training session at Oud Metha in Dubai on Saturday, has brought in some top coaches.

“In my role as the director of coaching, I want to do something different. We have a big vision, it’s my responsibility to make that vision work. We have one of the greatest names – Dhoni -- in cricket as our mentor. I am confident that our academy will take cricket coaching and mentoring to a new level,” Cullinan said.

Dhoni, the man who famously led India to the 2011 World Cup victory, will be guiding the students virtually.

“I think the great thing is technology has brought us closer, it allows us to share knowledge instantly and globally,” Cullinan said.

“The academies are safe places, places that kids enjoy coming to. They feel protected, they feel respected. They feel loved. It’s for us to gain their respect.

“We are seeking quality, we are seeking innovativeness. We want to bring up cricketers that have the ability to think for themselves, to find the answers. That’s going to be a massive focus for us.”

Cullinan, who also played 138 one-day internationals, said it’s not just the cricketers, but coaches need to keep improving as well to meet the demands of the modern game.

“We need to provide the kids the platform and the best opportunity to succeed. That must reflect on their performance on the field. We need to be there for them. For that our coaches need to be continuously improving as well,” he said.

“Ultimately we want to be an academy that kids want to go to and it’s recognized for its excellence. The value that the MS Dhoni Cricket Academy stands for is honourable and it’s without comparison.”


More news from Cricket