Having celebrated his 37th birthday this month, UAE veteran Amjad Javed says he hasn’t even thought about retiring and insists he can carry on playing until 2019.
All-rounder Javed has become one of the most experienced members of the national team since making his UAE debut in April 2006, playing more than 160 matches.
Yet at 37, the Dubai-born cricketer is proving age is just a number. While an unbeaten 47 remains his top-score this year, Javed has made an impact with the ball, taking 14 scalps in 13 matches.
Five of those came against the Netherlands as the UAE won the three-match 50-over series 2-1 earlier this month.
And the former skipper says if he keeps on producing performances like that, it’ll be hard for him to call it quits anytime soon.
“With this sort of performance, like how I’ve been performing, then it’s really good for me,” said Javed. “In my point of view, it’s a very good performance and if I continue bowling that way, I think I will have to delay my retirement.
“To be very honest, I’m really confident on my fitness levels and the Emirates Cricket Board is backing me and I think I should be playing until 2019 to help the team retain the ODI status and hopefully play in the next World Cup.”
He added: “I’m not thinking about retirement yet and if you see my performances also against Papua New Guinea, I took some wickets in the matches while I also claimed key wickets in the domestic game. I’ll carry on until two years from now and after that if there is a suitable coaching job for me, I’ll take that. I just want to continue playing cricket and help the UAE grow.”
With a part-time deal, Javed is one of 11 contracted players on the Emirates Cricket Board’s books. He still juggles his time as a professional cricketer between his day-time job at Emirates Airlines and while it can have an effect especially after flying long distances, Javed believes his game has improved immensely since the last year.
“The central contracts have really helped me and really pushed me to work hard,” he said. “I enjoy working with the guys most days and Peter Kelly (UAE’s strength and conditioning coach) is taking care of me by monitoring my fitness and form.
“We have changed our mentality in that we are now professional cricketers and you can see that with the Netherlands tour because of the way we performed.”