Youngsters Rahul Bhatia and Fahad Nawaz in UAE squad for Asia Cup Qualifers

Denzil Pinto 18/08/2018
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Fahad Nawaz featured in the pre-Asia World Twenty20 Qualifiers in April

Youngsters Rahul Bhatia and Fahad Nawaz have been named in the UAE squad which will compete in the Asia Cup Qualifier later this month.

The pair were part of the Under-19 team that featured in the Asia Cup tournament last year and while it’s Bhatia’s first call-up to the senior side, Nawaz were part of the squad that played in April’s pre-Asian World Twenty20 qualifiers.

Abdul Shakoor, who last represented the national team in November 2015, has been recalled following impressive domestic displays.

Rohan Mustafa will captain the side in the 50-over tournament, which will take place between August 29 and September 6.

The UAE will compete against Malaysia, Hong Kong, Nepal, Oman and Singapore in their bid to secure their place in the 2018 Asia Cup, which will be played in the UAE in September.

Speaking on the squad selection, Waleed Bukhatir, Emirates Cricket Board member and chief selector said: “Securing our place to compete in the 2018 Asia Cup, which is being hosted on home-soil, is of the utmost importance. Our players and the coaching team have been exceptionally committed to their training throughout the summer, and we are confident they will put forward a winning performance and secure the remaining place in the Asia Cup.”

UAE squad: Rohan Mustafa (C), Ashfaq Ahmed, Chirag Suri, Rameez Shahzad, Muhammad Usman, Adnan Mufti, Shaiman Anwar, Ahmed Raza, Imran Haider, Muhammad Naveed, Amir Hayat, Abdul Shakhoor, Rahul Bhatia, Fahad Nawaz and Zahoor Khan

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T10 League and other limited-overs tournaments UAE's Mohammad Naveed has played in

Denzil Pinto 18/08/2018
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Mohammad Naveed (c) has played in a variety of limited-overs tournaments.

With UAE pacer Mohammad Naveed on the brink of signing for Nepal’s T20 Everest Premier League, it will be another box ticked off on his list of limited-overs competitions he’s played in.

The 31-year-old isn’t short of experience when it comes to T20 (and even T10) cricket. We look back at the other limited-over competitions he has played in so far.

2016 and 2017: Hong Kong T20 Blitz 

The inaugural edition in 2016 saw Naveed selected for his first-ever overseas T20 tournament. Representing Hung Hom JD Jaguars, he only played twice with just one wicket to his name. Despite that, he returned again for the second edition 12 months later and came away with some cherished memories.

Playing for Hung Hom JD Jaguars again, Naveed shared the same dressing room as two-time World Twenty20 captain Darren Sammy. The West Indian was among the biggest names competing alongside ex-Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi and Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara. That didn’t stop him faring better with the ball, taking five wickets in total including one of former England international Ian Bell.

“He’s won the Ashes and was one of England’s best batsmen. It’s right up there among the best wickets of my career,” Naveed said at the time.

December 2017: T10 League, Sharjah 

Naveed got a chance to showcase his skills in front of his home fans in the first-ever T10 tournament. He was one of nine current UAE internationals to be given an opportunity with the pacer snapped up by Bengal Tigers.

Just like the rest of the players, which included the likes of Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Amir and Eoin Morgan, Naveed was stepping into unknown territory considering it was the first time 10-over cricket was played.

But he didn’t disappoint, taking three wickets in three matches including the prized one of Shahid Afridi.

June 2018: Global T20 Canada 

Naveed had company when he flew to Canada as Ahmed Raza, Rohan Mustafa and Shaiman Anwar were the four UAE internationals to be drafted in the inaugural edition. The quartet nearly missed the start of the tournament due to visa issues but just hours after arriving, Naveed was on the field for his Toronto Nationals debut. He didn’t pick up a wicket that time and had to wait until his third game to claim the scalps of South Africa’s David Miller and West Indies’ Dwayne Bravo.

Muhammad Naveed competed in the Global T20 Canada

Muhammad Naveed competed in the Global T20 Canada

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UAE's Mohammad Naveed set to play in Nepal's T20 Everest Premier League

Denzil Pinto 17/08/2018
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Mohammad Naveed is set to play in Nepal's Everest Premier League

UAE’s Mohammad Naveed is close to signing a deal to play in Nepal’s T20 Everest Premier League later this year.

The 31-year-old is set to sign a contract with Bhairahawa Gladiators, with an official announcement expected soon.

It will be the first time Naveed will be playing in Nepal and the pacer is looking forward to testing himself in the T20 competition.

“I am very close to signing the contract and it’s a tournament that I am looking forward to playing in. The Everest Premier League is a very good league which is growing and is attracting top internationals,” Naveed told Sport360.

Naveed will be playing in his second T20 overseas tournament in 2018 after playing three games for Toronto Nationals in June’s Global T20 Canada.

As well as that competition, Naveed also participated in the Hong Kong T20 Blitz where World T20 winner Darren Sammy was among this team-mates at Hung Hom JD Jaguars.

“It is great that I have been given another chance to play in a T20 league as I have played in the Global T20 Canada and Hong Kong Blitz tournaments. I have been playing very well in the last 18 months so that gives me confidence of doing well,” he said.

He is set to be the second UAE international to play in the event after Rohan Mustafa signed up for Kathmandu Kings XI in July.

The two were part of Toronto Nationals’ side in Canada in June and Naveed says it’s great that they will be part of another overseas T20 tournament.

“I am very happy that Rohan has signed up for the tournament as well because it shows that there is a lot of talent in the UAE national team,” he added.

“It’s a tournament that I can’t wait to play in and it’s one that I really want to do well in.”

This year’s Everest Premier League is likely to be held in late November with Naveed revealing he would have to miss “two or three” games if he is selected in the T10 League in Sharjah.

Naveed was part of the Bengal Tigers squad in last year’s edition and hopes to don the same jersey in the 2018 edition.

“I have spoken to the team management that I am very interested in playing for them,” he said. “They have a strong team and really enjoyed playing for them last year.”

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