The two-month suspension of UAE cricketers from international cricket ended with veteran Rohan Mustafa among three players back for the T20 series against USA.
The then captain Mustafa, Ahmed Raza and Rameez Shahzad were suspended from international cricket for eight weeks by the Emirates Cricket Board in December for their outburst on social media over playing conditions during the Emerging Teams Asia Cup in Pakistan.
With their international suspension over, all three players were selected for the two-match T20 series against USA.
Waleed Bukhatir, Emirates Cricket Board Member and chief selector said: “We are delighted to welcome and host the USA team during this momentous and much-anticipated visit. Both teams have been undergoing very intensive training and have been participating in high-level friendly-matches ahead of this tour, so we expect a thrilling, intense few weeks of quality cricket.”
Mohammad Naveed retains his captaincy. UAE lost the previous T20 series by a close margin to Nepal in a rain-curtailed 10-over-a-side decider in Dubai last month.
The matches will be played on March 15 and 16 at the ICC Academy in Dubai. Both matches will commence at 14:00 and entry is free. Also, the clashes will be live streamed.
Squad: Muhammad Naveed (capt), Rohan Mustafa, Ashfaq Ahmed, Shaiman Anwar, Rameez Shahzad, Amjad Gul, CP Rizwan, Muhammad Boota, Abdul Shakoor, Ahmed Raza, Imran Haider, Sultan Ahmed, Zahoor Khan, Amir Hayat, Waheed Ahmad
UAE batsman Shaiman Anwar and seamer Mohammad Naveed were placed 15th and 12th respectively in the latest ICC T20 rankings for batsmen and bowlers, respectively.
The UAE lost a closely fought T20 series to Nepal recently 2-1. Anwar made fine contributions of 59 and 30 against Nepal while Naveed, who is currently leading UAE, was sensational with figures of 2-19, 1-18 and 2-6 (10-over game).
The two UAE stalwarts are now among the highest ranked T20 players in the world, although they haven’t played regularly against top T20 nations.
Anwar is placed 15th on the T20 table for batsmen, which is four sports above India captain Virat Kohli who is placed 19th after he missed the T20 series against New Zealand.
Seamer Naveed is on a highly respectable 12th spot, which is five spots above India T20 specialist leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
The T20 batsmen table is topped by Pakistan star Babar Azam while the bowling charts is led by Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan.
It came down to the third and final T20 to separate UAE and Nepal at the ICC Academy.
After a closely contested ODI series that Nepal edged 2-1 – their first-ever series victory – the UAE were seeking to end this tour on a high.
After a rare spell of rain over Dubai interrupted the start, the game was shortened to 10 overs-a-side.
The UAE managed to restrict Nepal to 104 and started well in their chase, with Ghulam Shabber (25) and Shaiman Anwar (30) firing.
However, they came undone after losing the wicket of Muhammad Usman at 60-3, and were well behind the required run rate before finishing on 90-8 – 15 runs short of the target.