ECB announces friendly matches for UAE men's team ahead of 2020 T20 World Cup qualifiers

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UAE are getting ready. Image credit - Emirates Cricket Board.

The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has announced a series of fixtures for the UAE men’s cricket team which will form a part of their wider development calendar for 2019.

The six T20 fixtures will be held between October 6 to 10 in Dubai and Sharjah and will see the UAE Men’s first team as well as an UAE second XI lock horns against the likes of Bermuda, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Namibia and Nigeria.

The six total matches will help UAE side prepare for the upcoming 2020 T20 World Cup qualifiers which is set to begin in Abu Dhabi on October 18.

The upcoming T20 clashes will not be recognised as warm-up T20 games for the qualifiers by the ICC with the official warm-up clashes set to get underway on October 13.

The 2020 T20 World Cup qualifiers will see as many as 14 teams including hosts UAE, Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands battle it out in the two-week long tournament. The teams have been divided into two groups containing seven sides apiece with UAE drawn alongside Ireland and Hong Kong in Group B.

The top finishers from both groups will secure direct qualification to the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia while also advancing to the semi-final of the qualifiers. Three more teams from each group will then battle it out in a series of play-offs to determine the other four qualifiers for the tournament in Australia.

UAE unofficial warm-up fixtures from October 6 to 10

UAE Men’s First XI

UAE v Bermuda (Dubai International Stadium) – October 7, Monday (14:10GST)

UAE v Papua New Guinea (ICC Academy) – October 8, Tuesday (14:10GST)

UAE v Namibia (ICC Academy) – October 10, Thursday (14.10GST)

UAE XI (second team)

UAE XI v Nigeria (Sharjah) – October 6, Sunday (10:00GST)

UAE XI v Kenya (Sharjah) – October 9, Wednesday (10.00GST)

UAE XI v Bermuda (Dubai International Stadium) – October 10, Thursday (10.00GST)

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UAE team to compete in 2019 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers announced

Sport360 staff 17/09/2019
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Mohammad Naveed (c) will captain the UAE at the tournament.

The Emirates Cricket Board has announced the team that will represent the UAE in the 2019 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers.

The UAE have been drawn into Group B alongside Ireland, Oman, Hong Kong, Canada, Jersey and Nigeria. All UAE’s pool matches will be played at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, with the tournament starting on Friday, October 18, and their first game coming against Oman (19:30 local time).

Waleed Bukhatir, Emirates Cricket board member and chief selector said: “Our goal in this tournament is to finish top of our pool and secure direct qualification into the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia. We are confident in our side’s abilities to help make this a reality.”

On being tournament hosts Bukhatir added: “Emirates Cricket Board is exceptionally proud to be hosts of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers.

“We are delighted to be able to welcome 14 exceptionally talented cricketing nations to the United Arab Emirates, and to the world-class facilities on offer in Abu Dhabi at Zayed Cricket Stadium, the ICC Academy and the Dubai International Stadium.

“We wish all teams an enjoyable tournament and encourage the cricket-loving community to take advantage of the great weather and free entry to watch what will be 15 days of scintillating cricket across three outstanding venues.”

UAE squad: Muhammad Naveed (capt), Rohan Mustafa, Ashfaq Ahmed, Rameez Shahzad, Shaiman Anwar, Muhammad Usman, Muhammad Boota, Zawar Farid, Ghulam Shabbir, Ahmed Raza, Sultan Ahmed, Imran Haider, Qadeer Ahmed, Chirag Suri, Zahoor Khan

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UAE captain Mohammad Naveed lauds impact of new batting coach Monty Desai

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UAE coach Dougie Brown (2nd, r) with batting coach Monty Desai (r). Image: Netherlands Cricket.

UAE captain Mohammad Naveed is on a high after leading his team to a 4-0 T20 series sweep in Netherlands and credited new batting coach Monty Desai for making an immediate and positive impact.

The UAE got the better of Associate cricket heavyweights Netherlands at Amstelveen and The Hague, defending and chasing successfully twice.

The star performer of the series for the UAE was opener Ashfaq Ahmed who hit three fifties in four games and even took a wicket in the final match.

Other players too put their hands up when the team needed them, like former skipper Rohan Mustafa who picked up eight wickets across three matches.

All in all, it was a clinical effort from the UAE as they defended targets of 182 and 153, while chasing down 137 and 151 successfully.

Captain Naveed lauded the collective effort of the team and singled out Ashfaq’s consistency and the all-round potential of debutant Zawar Farid.

“Our goal was to go and win against a top Associate team; we just swept them. The conditions suited them but each member of our team performed when given a chance,” Naveed told Sport360.

“Ashfaq made it a one-man show. Zawar was outstanding. He can play anywhere. Zawar can open the batting, play in the middle or lower order. He can open the bowling and bowl with the old ball. If you ask me, I will say I want him. He can play in any conditions.”

One big difference this time was the team’s batting, which didn’t falter under pressure batting first or second. And that, Naveed said, was down to the sensible and precise work put in by new batting coach Monty Desai in the short space of time he has been associated with the team.

Desai has worked with teams like Zimbabwe, Nepal, Afghanistan and Canada while also being an important part of IPL franchises Rajasthan Royals and Gujarat Lions. Desai was confirmed as UAE batting coach earlier this month and Naveed credited him for making an immediate impact.

“Our new coach, Monty… the boys have benefited from him greatly. Batting was our problem, our bowling was always strong. Monty has fine-tuned the game of the batsmen and the players have responded very well. Next week our camps starts and he will work more on the batsmen,” the seam-bowling skipper said.

“He is sensible and has worked with some big teams. He knows what the boys need, when and where to train, what type of shots to hit. The feedback from the batsmen is very good.”

What fills Naveed with even more pride is that the team has bounced back from off-field issues late last year that led to the brief suspension of three players and resulted in a change of captaincy.

“After the changes in team and captaincy, the boys have come together and the results are improving. It is a good sign that our players are so skilled that we can sweep a side like Netherlands,” Naveed concluded.

UAE’s next big assignment is the World T20 qualifiers in the country in October. Following the unfortunate suspension of Zimbabwe cricket, chances of UAE have automatically improved and the results against the Dutch are a massive boost.

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