Desert Cubs to organise 40-over invitational schools tournament in August

Thursday, 5 June 2014 00:57 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Desert Cubs Cricket Academy UAE to launch inaugural 40 over invitational schools cricket tournament from 20-25 August in Colombo Former St. Annes’ College all-rounder Presley Polonowita who was one of the most promising talents to come out of the schools circuit in the late eighties and early nineties and was a former Sri Lanka youth cricket representative, is now planning to make a foray into Sri Lankan cricket circles again as a promoter through his UAE-based Desert Cubs Cricket Academy. Presley left for greener pastures in the UAE in the early nineties calling a halt to a blossoming cricket career and hasn’t looked back since as his present position as a high ranking banker in a leading international bank Epitomisez.                 However his greatest success has been as the founder and CEO of the Desert Cubs Cricket Academy which originated in 2007 with Presley himself providing cricket coaching to a group of 10 youngsters. Since those early days Desert Cubs has now grown to be the largest cricket academy in the UAE with over 600 young boys and girls in age groups ranging from 5-19 years on its books. In addition, the academy has introduced badminton, swimming and athletics to its curriculum with many other sports to follow in order to keep the younger generation physically fit and support them to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Presley has been helped and supported in his quest of nurturing young talent by his business partners, former Trinitian Aaron Vedhasinghe who serves as the Academy’s Chief Marketing Officer and also doubles up as the head coach of badminton, and Anoj Silva who overlooks finance and administration. Certified coaches Desert Cubs employees a number of certified coaches from Sri Lanka and overseas in various disciplines to train its young wards. They also maintain close ties with the ICC academy in the UAE headed by former Pakistan international Mudassar Nazar and also count an enviable number of corporate entities as its strategic partners including the world renowned Dubai Duty free brand Among the many plans that Presley and his team have for the future, the promotion and development of schools cricket in Sri Lanka takes centre stage. This would be in a manner which supports and supplements the efforts of the local cricket bodies. Towards this end, an invitational schools cricket tournament for under 15s and under 17s is scheduled to be inaugurated in August this year in Colombo.                   The participants in the first year will include teams from leading schools in Sri Lanka as well as teams from the Desert Cubs Academy in the UAE. The main aim of launching this international tournament is to provide much needed exposure to different competitive teams as well as playing in different conditions to young budding cricketers from around the world with special emphasis on developing the next generation of Sri Lankan Cricketers. The focus is to make this tournament one of the most prestigious events in the local cricketing calendar with the blessings and support of the Sri Lankan cricket hierarchy. It is the vision of Desert Cubs to open out the tournament to school teams from around the cricketing world from the second year onwards whilst providing opportunities for player exchange programmes with the respective countries for deserving young cricketers. Strategic partnerships In order to facilitate the smooth functioning of the tournament which will have the blessings of the relevant local cricket bodies, Desert cubs have already appointed a team to overlook various functions connected to the event including the appointment of experienced marketer and tourism promoter Nishantha Herath as its local sponsorship coordinator. A press conference to announce the objectives and plans for the tournament is scheduled for the month of July. Presley and the team at Desert Cubs are also looking at forging strategic partnerships with like minded local corporate institutions to conduct the tournament and many fringe benefits and resultant advertising mileage is on offer for prospective partners. Desert Cubs will also make a foray into the tourism sector in Sri Lanka in the latter part of the year with the setting up of a representative office to support its regional operations in the UAE, subsequent to its tie up with a major British tour agent. A sports village concept to support talented Sri Lankan youth and promote the country as a sports tourism destination is also on the cards. The blue print for same has already been drawn up and will get off the ground no sooner Desert Cubs establishes its presence in Sri Lanka through its Sri Lankan holding company Desert Cubs Sports Services International. Interested parties could get more information on Desert Cubs by logging in to