Raza & Mustafa saddened by Franks' decision

Denzil Pinto 13/09/2016
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Happy memories: Paul Franks (c) with the UAE team

Franks, 37, admitted he was interested in a possible return as Aaqib Javed’s permanent successor, having been named interim coach for the UAE’s matches against Scotland in the Intercontinental Cup and World Cricket League Championship last month.

But the former England international, who was Javed’s assistant at the 2015 World Cup and Asia Cup, had a change of heart, citing family and personal issues to opt out of the race for the top job.

Ex-UAE captain Ahmed Raza was gutted to hear the news and spoke glowingly of the Nottinghamshire Second XI coach.

“I read today that he mentioned (on why he pulled out) was because of his family and the sad demise of his father,” said the 27-year-old spinner, who was in the squad for the Scotland tour.

“You can understand where he’s coming from. This is a wonderful job and no-one would opt out without a valid reason. If it comes down to family, which it has, then these are difficult decisions as it requires a lot to move and to settle down.”

The former Interface player, added: “I think he was more than capable of taking the job full-time. We should not judge him on the results and all of us were happy working with him. He shared good relationship with all of us.”

All-rounder Rohan Mustafa echoed his team-mate’s opinion.

“He was already there with us on a number of occasions,” said the 27-year-old. “I know him very well for a long time and I felt he was the best man for the UAE job.

“There was a good understanding between him and us and that was the main thing. I was hoping he would be selected. It’s quite disappointing but I completely understand his reasons.”

Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) chief David East confirmed in August that Javed’s successor could be named this month when the topic is discussed in the next board meeting.

Both Mustafa and Raza have backed the ECB to select the right man but feel the announcement must be made soon.

“Let’s see, the ECB will have to decide. We’ll wait for their decision and we’ll be supporting the person on whoever gets appointed,” said Raza.

“Franks only had three or four weeks to work with us on the Scotland tour. You can bring a change but that change is not permanent one and is only there for the time being. Only a permanent coach can work on weakness areas.”

Mustafa added: “I think they will have to hire him as soon as possible. I think the best choice would be a player who has played as a batsman. He can help us on our weaknesses and that area is one where we’re not performing well.”

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Malik Contracting enjoy Summer T20 win

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Needing 166 to win, Malik Contracting got off to a poor start with Kishro Malik sent back to the pavilion after a seven-ball 10.

But things turned around quickly as Ahsanullah and Bakhtiyar Khan came up with some stunning shots as Malik Contracting reached their target in 16.1 overs.

Ahsanullah faced only 54 deliveries to score an unbeaten 107, which included 11 boundaries and eight sixes while Bakhtiyar played the perfect second fiddle with 41 from 31 deliveries.

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UAE lose U19 star to cricket scholarship in Sussex

Denzil Pinto 13/09/2016
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Riyan is pictured third left.

Riyan, 18, enjoyed a successful 18 months at England’s Ardingley College until March 2012, only to return to the UAE when national selectors enquired about his availability for upcoming games.

Consequently, he was named in the national U-19 squad last year and continued to excel on the domestic circuit.

Among his memorable feats include being the youngest centurion in an Abu Dhabi Cricket Council tournament in June and that, along with his cricketing abilities, was enough to earn a place at Seaford College.

“I gave them newspaper cuttings written of me in the UAE and they were really impressed that I was scoring big against the men and that I played for the UAE youth side twice,” said the Abu Dhabi-born cricketer, who will study a business and sports course.

Although the domestic season is still months away, Riyan is eager to prove a point to Seaford College coach Chris Adams.

“Chris knows of my potential but I really want to go out there and continue where I left off,” said the ex-Zayed Academy pupil.

“I’ll be there working on my fitness and training indoors. The standard level of cricket in the UAE isn’t that high but in England, it’s a different thing.”

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