Ethan D’Souza always seems to have a smile on his face. This is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future with the 16-year-old now one of the youngest players ever drafted into the Abu Dhabi T10.
Team Abu Dhabi has taken in D’Souza for the T10 tournament later this year. The competition takes place at the Zayed Cricket Stadium from November 23 to December 4, and he will join the 16-player squad.
The New York Strikers and Samp Army both scored big in the Abu Dhabi T10 player draft
A left-handed opener and off-spinner from the Zayed Cricket Academy, the opportunity is “incredible”.
It will be a great experience sharing the dressing room with renowned franchise cricket professionals,” said Ethan D’Souza, who made his Abu Dhabi debut at Emirates D20 in June.
I’m looking forward to it and am very excited about it. As much as possible, I want to soak up the good moments and learn from them, particularly their lifestyles both on and off the field, and their preparations ahead of games.”
D’Souza will spend two to three weeks with Australian Chris Lynn, West Indian Fabian Allen, Afghanistan quick Naveen ul Haq, and Englishmen Adil Rashid, Phil Salt and Jamie Overton.
As a member of the Abu Dhabi team, this is the biggest moment of my cricket career,” he said.
“It will be interesting to learn how the technical staff and players prepare game plans and assess the team’s performance after every game. Being part of the team is great, and I hope I get an opportunity to play on the field.”
Ethan D’Souza was playing a practice match at the Zayed Cricket Stadium when the draft was held, but it had already ended by the time local players were announced.
“I didn’t want to think too much about the draft, but my teammates watched the announcement at the end of the game,” he said.
“My teammates congratulated me and hugged me. It was a very happy and enjoyable moment for me.”
Ethan D’Souza has been playing cricket since he was three years old. At the age of seven-and-a-half, his father enrolled him at Zayed Cricket Academy.
“It was fun at first,” he said of his early days playing cricket. “I enjoyed playing with the other boys. When I was 13, I wanted to play more seriously and at a higher level.
“I started working harder to improve my game all around. My break came earlier than I expected, so I was able to represent the academy team.”
The D’Souzas’ parents, John and Sharmila, have been his biggest supporters, with his father guiding his cricket career and his mother helping him in his studies.
Having my parents not put pressure on me to get high marks in my exams has allowed me to spend more time developing my cricket skills. However, I have been able to balance my studies and sports,” he said.
All teams praised D’Souza’s performance in the Emirates D20, particularly his fielding. This earned him the nickname “Tiger“.
As a player, he played in all 12 games, taking nine catches and being involved in two run-outs, one of which was a direct hit. Additionally, he saved around a dozen runs almost every game for his team.
“We reached the final of the Emirates D20, which is an achievement we had never achieved before. That was a really good moment in my first appearance at this level,” the teenager said.
“I enjoy fielding and try to save as many runs as possible for my team.”
He also plays football and basketball, which contributes to his athleticism.
I became quick on the field by playing matches, football, and basketball when I wasn’t playing cricket.”
The Grade 11 student at Abu Dhabi Indian School is in the UAE U19 pool and aiming to make the final squad.
I have been encouraged and supported throughout my cricket journey by my parents, the academy management, coaches and fellow colleagues as well as members of the Abu Dhabi men’s team.”
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