The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) plan to arrange more international matches for the UAE to play against Test nations following last week’s Twenty20 clash with Australia.
The UAE put on a spirited display in Abu Dhabi but lost by seven wickets to the Baggy Green in what was the first-ever T20 international between the two sides.
It was a significant milestone for the ECB and the national team, who have not had many opportunities to test themselves against major Test countries in an official international on home turf. This is despite the UAE being home to various elite competitions including the PSL and Pakistan’s home Test matches.
And the ECB are hopeful that playing against the likes of Australia, South Africa and even Pakistan could be a more regular thing for the UAE in the future.
“We have plans to host more games next year and are already in talks with New Zealand or Australia in either playing T20s or ODIs,” Zayed Abbas, ECB board member and official spokesperson, told Sport360.
“We are also looking at the hosts, which is Pakistan, in order to get those fixtures with them. We have always had good relationships with the full members and they said they are here to support us. It’s a good thing to have, especially the ICC, giving us the international status. We are going to that direction to have more international matches whether it’s an ODI or T20.”
One of the most memorable day in my cricketing life! I would like to thank our fans for all the support and love. And special thanks to @CAComms for playing ICC - International Cricket Council T-20i match. This wouldn't have been possible without the support of @EmiratesCricket pic.twitter.com/iqH041Doa0— Rohan Mustafa (@rohanmustafa88) October 22, 2018
The fixture against Australia had been classed as a warm-up but just five days before it, the ICC granted it as an international following the support of the Pakistan Cricket Board and Cricket Australia.
Abbas thanked both boards for their support after revealing the idea came up during dinner with officials of the respective boards.
“At first, it was meant to be just a friendly and everyone was happy with that,” he added. “I was having dinner with the management of Australia and Pakistan and said ‘why don’t we make it an international match?’”
“Everyone agreed. We closed it right there and then and it was one week before the match.”
He added: “You can build these things by building relationships. Having the right people at the right place, we made it happen. To secure a deal with one of the strongest cricket nations in the world on very short notice was down due to our very strong relationship that we have built over the years.
“On behalf of Emirates Cricket Board, I would like to thank Cricket Australia, Pakistan Cricket Board and the ICC for making it happen.”