The United Arab Emirates team have turned to former Zimbabwe cricket captain Graeme Cremer for advice as they get ready to take on his old team in a four-match ODI that begins tomorrow at Harare Sports Club.
Cremer, who was the Zimbabwe skipper until the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier last year, was removed from captaincy after his team suffered a heartbreaking three-run loss to UAE, which resulted in them missing a spot in the main event.
The 32-year-old put his career on hold and moved to Dubai with his family, where his wife works as a pilot for Emirates Airlines, and has recently started working as a coaching consultant for the UAE’s representative teams.
The invitation for consultancy was extended by the national coach Dougie Brown and performance manager Will Kitchen, and he now faces the prospect of helping UAE go up against his former colleagues. “It happened overnight that Dougie and Will contacted me. We had a good chat, and it has been nice to be involved with the main side,” Cremer told The National.
“They are a great bunch of guys, and I enjoy working with Dougie and Will. It is really nice to be wanted, coming in to a consultancy role like this. I was really happy to come and help these guys because I knew they were really talented. They just haven’t been exposed to that higher level yet.”
Cremer, who has played 19 Tests, 96 ODIs and 29 T20Is for Zimbabwe, was particularly lavish in his praise for UAE’s leg-spinner Imran Haider, whom he thinks is a “real asset for UAE cricket”.
“I was really happy to come and help these guys, because I knew they were really talented.
“I haven’t seen an Associate leg-spinner like him. He has all the tricks, and has a good head on his shoulders. There is not much that needs changing there, but I think there are tactics and strategy where he could really learn a lot. He is a real asset to UAE cricket.”
Haider, who has 30 wickets in the 16 ODIs so far, acknowledged Cremer’s contribution to his development.
“It’s been great to have him working with us, as he’s a very experienced player, and it’s especially helpful for the spinners,” Haider said.
“He talks about the variations in bowling in the middle overs . . . and the right field to set when we are bowling, which has been very helpful.” — Sports Reporter/ICC Cricket.