Khan: Judge us after the World Cup next year

Denzil Pinto 23/03/2014
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Looking ahead: Khurram Khan.

Khurram Khan believes UAE’s potential should be judged after the 2015 World Cup and not on the basis of their World Twenty20 display.

The UAE captain insists his team will be better prepared for the event in Australia and New Zealand next year unlike the World Twenty20 where they had just two months to set things in order.

Khan's side had only begun their training and preparations for the World Twenty20 after qualifying for the 2015 World Cup in February and their lack of fitness showed as they suffered three consecutive defeats in Bangldesh. 

In particular it was the fielding department which let the UAE side down, playing a huge part in the defeats to Netherlands, Ireland and Zimbabwe.

Khan, who returned to the UAE with the national team on Saturday, feels there should be no excuses for lack of preparation for the 2015 World Cup.

“I think yes,” said Khan, when asked if UAE should be judged at the 2015 event. “We may have to play a lot more matches between now and then which will keep us in good stead.

“In the T20 tournament we could see what departments we were lacking in. Obviously, fitness was one (area) and if you look at the matches we really didn’t manage to finish some of the games. Having said that there are nine months and we start training tomorrow which is enough time to improve.”

With former Under-19 players Rohit Singh and Moaaz Qazi in the T20 squad, Khan believes more youngsters could be called up to the senior side in the future.

“There are a lot of youngsters who could be ready to come in and I think the future is bright for UAE,” he added.

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Broad: Umpires decision put players and fans in danger

Sport360 staff 22/03/2014
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Stuart Broad believes players and fans were put in danger by the decision to keep England and New Zealand on the field while lightning struck close to the ZACS Stadium and considered leading his side off in protest.

The England captain was incredulous that umpires Aleem Dar and Paul Reiffel kept the players on the pitch after several flashes of lightning came down uncomfortably close to the playing surface in the second innings of their World Twenty20 Group One opener.

England were in the field at the time, with Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson at the crease, with the sides eventually ushered off when rain began to fell.

With New Zealand ahead of the Duckworth/Lewis par at that point they walked away with a nine-run victory, but Broad was more concerned about a decision that he felt threatened life and limb.

"To be as polite as I possibly can be I think it was distinctly average decision making keeping us on after the first lightning strike at the start of the fifth over, keeping us on throughout that," he said.

"I asked the umpires for a bit of clarity on the decision-making at the end of the game and they said they didn't see the lightning and didn't think it was a threat; you can guarantee from our team we felt like it was a threat. With a batsman pulling away from a delivery after 4.2 overs I think the batsman saw it as well.

"At the end of the day it's a game of cricket so I wouldn't be putting the crowd and players' safety under threat.

"There are some questions that need asking to the ICC for clarity. It's all very well wanting to finish a game so you can tick a box but players' health and safety and crowd safety is very important and that to me felt like very threatening lightning."

Broad also revealed that with the umpires deeming conditions playable, he had talked to McCullum about leaving the field without their consent.

"It's not sour grapes, the New Zealanders felt the same," he said. "When the umpires got together and kept saying 'it's fine', Baz [McCullum] and I had a discussion about taking our players off the field because we didn't agree.

"In my opinion, my team's opinion and everyone else I've spoken to's opinion it wasn't right for us to be out there when the lightning was striking. "Look at golf – a hooter goes and they all clear off half an hour before the lightning strikes.

"I personally wouldn't have taken the risk. You've seen it in football where lightning strikes the pitch and players have hit the deck. "It was certainly close enough.It was luck rather than judgement, I think.

"Look at golf – a hooter goes and they all clear half an hour before the lightning strikes. I personally wouldn't have taken the risk. you've seen it in football where lightning strikes the pitch and players have hit the deck. It was certainly close enough."

New Zealand seamer Kyle Mills agreed with the wider issue of safety taking precedence over a sporting contest, but did not feel any major errors had transpired. 

"I think that's probably a bit of a hindsight thing, isn't it? If Stuart was on the other end of it, he would be more than happy with the decision," he said. "In cricket you win some and you lose some, the umpires are trying to make the decisions to the best of their ability.

"But at the end of the day, it's just a game of cricket. Everyone could tell the thunder and lightning was relatively close to the ground and I think the right decision was made to take the players off.

"We're here to win a World Cup but it's just a game of cricket and lives are more important."

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New Zealand defy rain to beat England

Sport360 staff 22/03/2014
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Unhappy: Stuart Broad was not pleased with the umpires decision to end the days play.

New Zealand defied a stubborn England and rain to win their opening World Twenty20 match by nine runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method in Chittagong on Saturday.

Chasing a challenging 173-run target, New Zealand were 52-1 after 5.2 overs when heavy rain came down following a burst of thunder, which halted the Group One match played at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium.

After a 25-minute delay when the umpires were due to inspect the ground, the rain started to fall again, prompting them to declare the end of the match and New Zealand the winners on the Duckworth-Lewis formula.

New Zealand needed to score 43 in 5.2 overs on the D/L method, which ruled them the winners.

Kane Williamson was unbeaten on 24 and with him skipper Brendon McCullum was on 16 when the match ended abruptly.New Zealand had lost opener Martin Guptill for 11.

"The game was evenly poised (when finished)," said McCullum, who hit two sixes and a four off Broad's fifth over to take New Zealand above the needed score. "It's a funny tournament, both teams are going to need an immense amount of luck to get through. Both teams will be pleased with the performance but we're obviously delighted with the win."

England skipper Stuart Broad said he was disappointed. "I think it would have been a good game if it went to a full 40 overs. Obviously disappointed but you can't do much when weather comes in between."

England, sent in to bat, posted a good total of 172-6 in bits and pieces. Moeen Ali (36), Michael Lumb (33) and Jos Buttler (32) spurned good starts. while Ravi Bopara hit a 19-ball unbeaten 24 and Tim Bresnan hit an eight-ball 17 not out to help Broad's side muster 88 in the last 10 overs.

England were off to a disastrous start when opener Alex Hales was dismissed off the third ball of the innings, caught one-handed high over his head by Corey Anderson at mid-off.

Lumb and Ali steadied the innings during their 72-run second wicket stand. Ali, playing only his third T20, hit six well-timed boundaries and a six before he holed out off Anderson in the deep and three runs later Lumb joined him in the pavilion.

Lumb hit four boundaries and a six off 24 balls.

Buttler looked threatening during his innings spiced with six boundaries but was bowled by Anderson, who was the pick of New Zealand bowlers with 2-32.

Earlier in the day world number one Sri Lanka outlasted South Africa by five runs in an exciting finish in Chittagong to open Group One in the Super-10 stage.

Pakistan take on Australia and title-holders the West Indies face India in Group Two matches in Dhaka on Sunday. Two teams from each group will qualify for the semis. The final will be played on April 6.

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