Three UAE players, including former skipper Mohammad Naveed, have been provisionally suspended from cricket with immediate effect after they were charged with the breach of several ICC anti-corruption rules.
Skipper Naveed, Qadeer Ahmed Khan and Shaiman Anwar Butt had recently withdrawn from the initial squad for the 2020 T20 World Cup qualifiers starting in the UAE on Friday. No explanation was given at the time for their absence.
According to Wednesday’s ICC press release, skipper Naveed has been charged with the breach of four anti-corruption codes while Qadeer has been found in breach of six. Shaiman, meanwhile, has been charged with the breach of two codes.
One of the codes Naveed has been charged for is Article 2.1.1 which relates to contriving, or being party to an agreement or effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly, the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of matches in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
A trio of UAE players have been provisionally suspended from cricket.https://t.co/yX7nB3MccI— ICC (@ICC) October 16, 2019
Naveed has also been charged with a further two breaches of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) Code for the T10 League. The ICC had earlier been appointed by the ECB as the Designated Anti-Corruption Official for the purposes of the ECB’s Code at the T10 League.
A fourth player, Mehardeep Chhayakar, has also been charged by the ICC along with the UAE national team trio. Chhayakar has participated in cricket tournaments in Ajman.
The four players have two weeks to respond to the charges laid out against them.
“Emirates Cricket Board acknowledge the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit investigation involving three of its players,” an ECB statement read.
“The board fully supports the ICC and the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit in their efforts, and denounces any activities of corruption.”
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The Emirates Cricket Board has officially announced the team that will represent the UAE at the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Under-16 Western Region tournament.
In showing the Emirates Cricket Board’s unwavering commitment to developing local talent, Emirati U16 middle-order batsman and spin-bowler, Obaid Tauqir, has been selected for the team.
Zayed Abbas, Emirates Cricket Board member and spokesperson, said: “We are very excited and proud to select Obaid and provide him with this opportunity. It remains a mandate of the board to grow our Emirati youth cricketers into UAE representative players who will stand on the domestic, regional and international stage.
“We are confident he will receive a valuable and rewarding experience through his competing at the ACC U16 tournament, and playing alongside experienced and talented players.”
With a strong number of Emirati youths currently being introduced to the sport through Emirates Cricket’s Pinsent Masons Emirati Development Programme (EDP), which is conducted at various local schools across the UAE, the selection of Tauqir will no doubt be noticed and provide these youths with a strong Emirati role model.
Tauqir will also relish in the depth and experience of his fellow team-mates, especially under the captaincy and guidance of U16 domestic and regional stalwart-player and leader Adithya Shetty.
Mohamed Tauqir, UAE national teams’ selector and former UAE men’s captain who led them at the 2015 Cricket World Cup 2015, added: “This is a great milestone for Emirates Cricket, and one we thank the board for.
“Obaid has been working very hard on his game over the last three years; with his local academy (Desert Cricket Cubs Academy – Sharjah), actively involved in school-led tournaments, as well as exposed to ECB’s various age-group competitions.
“Obaid’s coaches at his school (Victoria International School – Sharjah) and his academy have been very supportive and have recognised his potential. As an Emirati, this is an outstanding opportunity for him to represent his country and embrace the chance to enhance his cricketing skills.”
To be played in a 35-overs-a-side format, hosted in Oman, the tournament will commence on Monday, October 21, and continue through to October 29. The UAE have been drawn into Pool A alongside Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran with Pool B showcasing Qatar, the Maldives, Kuwait and hosts Oman.
Adithya Shetty (C), Soorya Sathish, Kai Smith, Chris Sequeira, Muhammad Babar, Rudra Mahadev, Aayan Khan, Harshit Seth, Ali Naseer, Jash Giyanani, Muhammad Zuhaib, Rishit Sharma, Annant Bhargava, Obaid Tauqir
The past weekend marked the start of the annual Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) National Academies League, with as many as 22 different academies set to battle it out for the coveted honour over the course of the next six months.
As the popularity of the sport continues to skyrocket in the UAE, it is the various academies that have mushroomed up across the country which are playing a pivotal role in developing the future stars of tomorrow.
The Kings’ Cricket Academy in Al Barsha, Dubai, is one such name which has been leading the way towards that goal and its talented pool of players are more than ready to put on a big show once again if their pre-season preparations and start to the league are anything to go by.
Led by a superb unbeaten fifty from captain Hamad Arshad, the U19 developmental squad started the league in style with a thumping seven-wicket win over Al Ain Cricket Club. Earlier, the squad had warmed up for the league with an equally convincing pre-season win over the touring Himalaya Cricket Academy from Nepal. Once again, it was skipper Hamad who led from the front with an excellent unbeaten ton.
The extensive run out against what was a talented Nepalese outfit, as well as the win in the season opener, augurs well for the team’s chances in the ECB league even though results are mostly secondary for the academy’s ambitions.
Committed to opening up future professional pathways for the talented kids in its roster, the Kings’ academy is leaving no stone unturned to bridge the gap between grassroots cricket and potentially international cricket.
“We strive to provide a system to the kids in which they can hone their all-round skills with an equal emphasis on batting, bowling and more importantly, fielding,” coach Ash Mohammed said.
“There is no reason why our boys cannot aspire to represent the UAE professionally in the future.
“The realms of possibilities are endless and we believe our kids are good enough to aim to play cricket professionally in even England, India and Australia.”
Continued participation in the ever-expanding ECB league is part of that process for the academy with the professionally run set-up providing the players with a chance to constantly push themselves to greater heights.
Having come into existence four years ago, the 2019/20 National Academies League calendar is set to be its biggest one so far.
“The National Academy League sees 472 matches played over six months of competition. The ECB is proud to partner with academies in delivering this event and it gives the future stars of UAE cricket a platform to shine,” ECB national development manager Andrew Russell explained.
The fruits of the various academies and the ECB are already being picked with the UAE U19 squad qualifying for next year’s ICC World Cup in South Africa for the first time on merit.
While the chance to represent UAE in the future is incentive enough for any aspiring youngster in the Kings’ academy, they will soon get an opportunity to learn from one of the most highly-sought coaches on the international circuit.
Former Pakistan ace and current England spin consultant Saqlain Mushtaq is set to arrive at the academy in the coming week to deliver a masterclass, and the young kids could not have asked for a better mentor.
Saqlain’s prowess with the ball is legendary while the 42-year-old’s impressive coaching pedigree has seen him serve stints with the Australia, New Zealand, West Indies and Bangladesh national teams apart from his current commitments with the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Learning from a man whose already stellar coaching resume has been bolstered recently by an ICC World Cup triumph can only be a good thing for aspiring youngsters from the academy, and is just one of many steps the King’ Academy is undertaking to convert their lofty dreams into reality.