Ahmed Raza urges UAE to show their talents against England Lions

Denzil Pinto 09:56 14/01/2016
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Demanding more: Ahmed Raza.

UAE captain Ahmed Raza wants his Associate team to prove they have the abilities to cause England Lions problems, citing Afghanistan’s recent series victories over Zimbabwe as an example.

Raza’s men meet the Lions on Thursday in the first practice match of their 50-over series at Dubai’s ICC Academy as they begin to fine-tune preparations for their two World Cricket League encounters against the Netherlands later this month.

The two sides met in December in the Twenty20 format with the visitors claiming a last-ball victory to seal a hard-fought 3-2 series triumph.

After being encouraged by Afghanistan’s T20 and ODI series wins over Test-nation Zimbabwe in Sharjah this month, as well as their performances against the Lions, Raza has urged his players to put on a show that Associate sides have the mettle to test the big teams.

“There are not many chances we come up against a professional side so this is a great opportunity to show what we’ve got and cause them problems,” said the 27-year-old spinner.

“We have to show them that we are not lacking in skills but it’s just time in preparing for games as we are at work during the day.”

Batsman James Vince, who played in England’s T20 series win over Pakistan, captains a strong Lions team which also includes Liam Plunkett, who has 13 Test appearances. Raza believes the two matches will provide a thorough test.

“England Lions are a strong side and it’s up to us how much we want to get out of this game,” he said. “We should take this game as serious as the Netherlands game and that’s how we’ll know at where we are in the game.

“The result doesn’t really matter but it would be good to get a victory. It’s important to play good cricket and that will give us a lot of preparation for the Netherlands’ series as well as give us a confidence boost.”

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