Lahore: The International Cricket Council Global Cricket Academy (ICC GCA), comprising state-of-the-art cricket facilities for international as well as local cricketers, has been launched in Dubai.
Initially announced as a project in 2004, the academy is part of the Dubai Sports City- a project to construct world-class sporting infrastructure in Dubai- and is managed by the ICC, the Daily Times reported.
In a statement, ICC President Sharad Pawar said, "This outstanding academy will provide a pathway for the world`s current and emerging international players to excel. It will also become the centre of excellence for cricket`s best and brightest administrators, coaches, umpires and curators."
"With its state-of-the-art programmes, facilities and coaches, the ICC GCA will provide a home for a wide range of our stakeholders from both the traditional Full Members and the developing Associate and Affiliate Members. We believe the ICC GCA is key in making our great sport, even greater," he added.
The academy provides indoor facilities, including a fielding area, seven pitches of varying character- ranging from turn-friendly to seamer-friendly pitches, class rooms, meeting rooms, a technology suite and a gymnasium.
In addition, the GCA boasts of 38 floodlit outdoor practice pitches, including 28 turf tracks that replicate playing conditions across the various Test-playing nations.
Apart from being used for developmental and grassroots purposes, the facilities will also be used by teams for their preparation for the 2011 World Cup in the sub-continent.
The venue will also be hosting the Intercontinental Cup final between Afghanistan and Ireland in December, and the World Cricket League Division Two in April next year.
The academy has also recruited three coaches- former Australian wicketkeeper Rod Marsh, former Pakistan all-rounder Mudassar Nazar and former New Zealand fast bowler Dayle Hadlee.
Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, Managing Director of Dubai Sports City, said, "This is indeed a historic and momentous occasion for world cricket and another significant milestone in the evolution of Dubai Sports City... The academy is world class and will provide top training conditions for elite cricketers from all over the world. It will also have a significant and positive impact on UAE cricket."