Somerset’s Josh Davey and the rest of the Scotland cricket team returned home on Thursday (20 November) after nine days of intensive work at a training camp in Dubai at the ICC Global Cricket Academy.
The camp has been an important part of Scotland’s preparation for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, which takes place in February and March next year.
The players were joined by Somerset Director of Cricket Matthew Maynard to assist in honing their skills.
With the Scotland team heading home from Dubai this week, another Somerset player, George Dockrell, has now arrived at the ICC Academy with the Ireland team.
Ireland will spend the next few weeks in the UAE, where they will play two games against New Zealand A.
Scotland and Ireland’s camps at the ICC Academy follow the two sides’ recent tours of Australia and New Zealand, where they played a series of games to acclimatise to the conditions they will face during the World Cup.
The time in Dubai has offered a chance for the players to build on the work already undertaken ‘down under’ at some of the best cricket facilities available.
A ‘productive few days’ for Scotland
Speaking before his side’s return to the UK, Scotland skipper Preston Mommsen was very positive about the trip to Dubai. He told the Cricket Scotland website: “It has been a productive few days for us, the facilities here have been awesome. We’ve had access to the main ICC ground [at the academy] and the net facilities, as well as the Dubai7s, which has been world class.”
When asked what impact Matt Maynard had during the camp, Mommsen replied: “I’ve been very impressed with his style of coaching and what he has added. He has a very good presence about him, and has quickly earned the respect of the boys.
“He has brought different drills, different mind-set, and a different way of thinking. Personally, I’m thinking differently about how I’m approaching thinking, especially the way I’m playing spin and being able to manipulate the ball.”
Matt himself tweeted on leaving the camp: “Great 11 days in Dubai with @CricketScotland Lads were awesome and showed a great work ethic. All the best for the WC. #gocreatehistory”
Matt also tweeted to say that he was impressed with Josh, noting: “he’s got talent”.
The camp was also the final opportunity for the Scotland players to make an impression with Coach Grant Bradburn, before he selects his final squad for the World Cup in December.
Ireland ‘geared towards the World Cup’
Speaking the week before the Irish squad departed for the Gulf, batsman Stuart Thompson told the Cricket Ireland website: “We have two big games against what will be a strong New Zealand A team, so we’re looking forward to that, but again, I think everyone will be geared towards the World Cup and basically going on from what we did last month in Australia and New Zealand and what we’re doing here [at home] in the nets, taking that to Dubai and continuing working and improving.”
Looking back at that recent tour ‘down under’, Thompson said: “It’s a massive benefit for everyone, because we now know what grounds we’re going to play at and the conditions at each ground. Like it’s massively different playing in the Gabba to the Manuka Oval in Canberra, so it was good to get out there and see what conditions are like and be one step ahead when we play there in March.”