Chirag Suri has a chance to make his first-class debut for the UAE after he was named in the squad for their tour against Namibia next month.
The 22-year-old batsman was announced in the final 14-man squad for their four-day ICC Intercontinental Cup (ICup) that begins on September 16.
The two nations will meet again at the Wanderers Cricket Ground in Windhoek in two 50-over World Cricket League matches on September 16 and 19.
Suri keeps his place after being recalled to the squad for the triumphant 50-over series against the Netherlands in July but despite never playing an official four-day game, he looks forward to the challenge.
“It’s a great feeling to be in the UAE squad,” said Suri, who became the first UAE cricketer to be sold in the IPL auction when he was bought by Gujarat Lions this year.
“We have been working hard in Dubai in trying to work to conditions that we would face over there. I am happy that all my hard work is paying off and that the selectors and coaches are seeing that I’ve been performing well in domestic tournaments.”
Wicket-keeper Saqlain Haider has been recalled after missing the Netherlands tour.
In his last I-Cup outing, the 30-year-old duly delivered by smashing a century in Apri’s nine-wicket victory over Papua New Guinea in Abu Dhabi.
The team will be captained by Rohan Mustafa with Shaiman Anwar as his deputy.
The UAE are second bottom in the I-Cup standings and last in the World Cricket League but Zayed Abbas, Emirates Cricket spokesperson, believes the side are capable of delivering positive results.
“We have been greatly anticipating the I-Cup and WCL series against Namibia, and we are extremely confident the team will post strong results against the hosts,” he said.
“Participating and doing well, in these tournaments, is vitally important in continuing our climb up the ICC rankings ladder.”
To ensure they have the best preparation for their matches, the UAE will fly out on September 3 for a 12-day camp. They will spend time at South Africa High Performance Centre (University of Pretoria) for six days, before moving to Windhoek.
“Throughout the summer the team, and the coaching staff, have been working very hard to take their skills and fitness to the next level,” said Abbas. “This preparation camp will be integral in building on these efforts, and strengthen an already tight-knit competitive team.”
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