UAE national cricket team fly out to South Africa for training camp

Denzil Pinto 17:21 28/01/2018
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South Africa-bound: UAE team on Sunday. Pic: Emirates Cricket

The UAE national team left for South Africa on Sunday morning for an intense training camp ahead of their pre-World Cup qualifiers next month.

The side will compete in the ICC World Cricket League Division Two in Namibia from February 8-15 alongside the hosts, Canada, Kenya, Nepal and Oman from which the top two nations will qualify for the 2019 World Cup Qualifiers in March.

To ensure they are in the best possible shape for those fixtures, the UAE will spend time adjusting to conditions in Pretoria until early next week before moving to the Namibian capital Windhoek.

UAE captain Rohan Mustafa was part of the squad to fly from Dubai and believes the training camp is a huge boost for their preparations for what he described as an “important series”.

“The fact that we are going early for a training camp is very good news for us,” said the 29-year-old all-rounder.

“We experienced the last time we went to Namibia (for their tour in September) that it’s a place where it’s high altitude and adjusting to that and the conditions will be very important.

“For the new guys, it will be a great learning experience and for the whole team, it will help us be 100 per cent ready physically and mentally for the first game.”

The players flew to South Africa not short of match preparation after playing Ireland, Afghanistan and Scotland in Dubai earlier this month. Their only victory against those nations came against Scotland in the ODI tri-series with No4 batsman Rameez Shahzad scoring an unbeaten 121 in the four-wicket triumph.

Mustafa insists those games were a great learning experience and is encouraged to see that the middle-order batsmen are also performing.

“The fact that the likes of Rameez Shahzad are scoring big is very positive for us,” added Mustafa. “It shows the top and middle-order batsman can perform and that is what we’ll need in the Division Two qualifiers.

“We have learnt a huge lot from these games as we hadn’t played since Christmas. We played some good games and were unlucky but losing and winning is part of the game.”

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