GRANT Flower, now Pakistan batting coach, took time out from his busy schedule to give inspiring talk to a group of schoolchildren in Dubai.
It’s not every day a former international cricketer gives a talk to students, but that was certainly the case for aspiring cricketers at Kings’ School Al Barsha.
Ex-all-rounder Flower, who was a mainstay for Zimbabwe during his 18-year international career in the 1990s, gave the talk to 40 youths on his career and how to develop their game.
Having played more than 250 matches for his national team, Flower knows what is required to play at the highest level, having scored more than 20 000 runs in all formats, including 12 international centuries.
Although the cricketers did not take to the field, they were inspired during the one-hour session as the 45-year-old and brother of former England coach Andy Flower, spoke on various issues including the importance of enjoying the game and team work.
“Whatever sport you’re playing, you should go out there and enjoy playing,” Flower said, alongside Pakistan’s fitness coach Grant Luden.
“That’s very important and that brings out the best of you. Cricket can be a long game, but concentration levels must remain high.
“It is important to switch on and off during the deliveries and continue to give their best,” added Flower, who named Sachin Tendulkar, Wasim Akram and Jonty Rhodes as the best cricketers he faced.
The students were left in awe after listening to Flower.
Youvraj Sethy, captain of the Pro Coach Cricket Academy Under-14 side, said: “This visit really inspired me and made me realise how much discipline and dedication it takes to play professional sport.
“I really found it interesting when Grant explained how top teams study video footage of their opponents and analyse their strengths and weaknesses before matches.”
All-rounder Aditja Vyas added: “It was really interesting to hear some great stories and it’s determined me more to focus on my fitness.”
The visit was arranged by Kobus Olivier, whose Pro Coach Cricket Academy will be launched at the school later this year.
It’s part of their vision in ensuring their students excel in various sports for the upcoming year.
“Sport is a particular passion that I hold personally,” said Alan Williamson, the school principal. “Competitive sport made a huge difference to my own education which encouraged me to represent my school and create a real sense of belonging to that school.
“It also raised my own levels of self confidence as well as the vital importance of improving health and well being. I want all of this, and more, for students at Kings Al Barsha.
“Under the energetic and motivational leadership of our Director of Sport and Physical Education teams, I am very confident that Kings will emerge as the school of choice for parents and students who want the best sports programmes and opportunities in Dubai and the Middle East.” — Sport360.com