Rameez Shahzad believes UAE can become top Associate nation

Denzil Pinto 08:00 21/07/2016
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Aiming high: Rameez Shahzad (L).

The 28-year-old is among the 12 who have been given a deal by the Emirates Cricket Board for the first time and the Unicon player has no doubt it will deliver positive results on the pitch.

“The best thing about the UAE is that we have some good cricketers in the country,” he said. “But we could never practise or work hard enough before. When we used to go on tours, we just used to prepare for a couple of weeks.

“Now, with the contracts in place, we don’t have any excuses as we’ll be training a lot.

“I think within the next three years we can be the top Associate nation in T20s and ODIs.”

His team-mate Imran Haider, who also got a deal, agreed.

“There are a lot of talented players in the UAE and now we have the opportunity to go out there and show what we’re made of. We can turn our focus on becoming better cricketers than what we were before,” he said.

“It will be a big help and I am really happy and honoured that I’ve been among the players to have been chosen by the ECB and I will do my utmost to work hard.”

Another man, who is on a full-time contract is Ghulam Shabbir.

The 30-year-old batsman/wicketerkeeper is one of two new faces in the 14-man squad that will travel to Scotland on Monday for the four-day Intercontinental Cup and 50-over World Cricket League encounters next month.

And the Alubond Tigers’ batsman is thrilled to have been selected.

“It really shows that if you follow your dreams anything is possible,” he said.

“I can’t wait to put on the UAE shirt and work hard in training and matches to achieve success.”

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