UAE captain Rohan Mustafa has revealed that he and key players spoke to Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) officials on their wish for Dougie Brown to be the next head coach prior to his appointment.
Brown, 47, was officially named as Aaqib Javed’s successor in May after a successful three-month stint as interim coach.
During those 12 weeks in charge, the former England and Scotland international made a big impact as the team won eight matches en route to sealing ODI and T20I series wins over Papua New Guinea as well as the four-day ICC Intercontinental Cup match. He also oversaw the 50-over series triumph over Oman at the end of April.
It was during the tour to Muscat that a group of seniors had spoken to ECB chief David East on their preference for Brown to be installed as the new man.
“Myself, Mohammed Naveed and Ahmed Raza spoke to David East when he was with us in Oman that if it was possible to hire Dougie, then we want him,” said Mustafa, 28. “There were other players who wanted him like Amjad Javed and Shaiman Anwar.
“We also spoke to Waleed Bukhatir (chief selector of the UAE) because under Dougie we did very well.
“There were a few coaches who came in after Aaqib Javed left and we thought that Dougie Brown’s the best choice because his technique and understandings is good. He’s very understanding with you as a player and can manage easily just like how Aaqib did.”
Mustafa was pleased that the team’s feedback was taken on board by the ECB and believes the team can continue to build on their recent upsurge under Brown’s helm – beginning with this month’s ODI series against Netherlands from July 10.
“It’s a very good appointment taken by the ECB and under him we had a lot of success and won a lot of matches,” said Mustafa.
“We were with him for three months and he has great ideas and is a hard working person. It’s good news for everyone involved in UAE cricket and now focus on attaining good results and our ODI status.”
The UAE had meant to travel to Birmingham last Thursday for a short training camp ahead of the three matches against the Netherlands but will now travel straight to Amsterdam later this month.
It means Mustafa and the rest of the 14-man squad will spend more time training indoors at the ICC Academy in Dubai.
But the all-rounder is adamant they will be ready when they face the Dutch in eight days time.
“I don’t think we will face any trouble there because it will be different conditions,” he said. “We’ve seen a few recent matches of Netherlands and the wicket was good so I don’t think we’ll have much trouble over there.”
The skipper has every reason to be optimistic especially since the majority of the squad were engaged in various T20 tournaments across the country during Ramadan.
“I won three man of the tournament awards while Shaiman Anwar and Adnan Mufti won some top accolades,” he said.
“If you score big runs or take wickets against any team it can give you confidence which we can take for the games against Netherlands.”
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