The UAE’s hopes of sealing a place in the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia took a big hit on Tuesday after the hosts fell to an eight-wicket defeat to Netherlands in the first play-off in Dubai.
However, top-order batsman Chirag Suri is not losing hope just yet with the side set to get another shot at qualification when they take on Scotland on Wednesday.
“The goal for us is to qualify obviously,” the UAE star batsman and Red Bull Athlete stated.
“We’ve got one game against Scotland and we want to be on the right side of the result. We want to show our quality, play positive cricket and get the win,” he added.
Representing the UAE in an ICC World Cup remains the ultimate goal for Suri who has been making quite the name for himself since making his debut for the senior team last year.
It wasn't to be for UAE today but they have another chance to qualify for Australia tomorrow when they take on Scotland!— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) October 29, 2019
The winner of that clash will be going to the T20 World Cup 🕺 pic.twitter.com/gpVAz2CieG
“Playing in a World Cup is obviously a big goal and I want to be part of one. Scoring big runs for the UAE and representing myself in the best way is what I want to do. I always give my best in whatever I do and I just want to enjoy my cricket,” the 24-year-old explained.
Prior to breaking into the UAE U19 team in 2014, Suri made his name in Red Bull’s Campus Cricket edition with the right-hander winning the competition as many as three times while representing the Heriot-Watt University, Dubai.
Offering aspiring student cricketers a platform to play in an international professional T20 tournament, Red Bull’s Campus Cricket has now arrived on UAE soil for the World Finals of the 2019 edition.
Former Campus Cricket star Suri has plenty of advice for the youngsters around the world who have congregated in Dubai for the big prize.
“It is an excellent opportunity for them to showcase their skills at this level. It’s such a good platform so they should go out and enjoy it. It gives them a good idea of where you are as a player,” said Suri.
“Whatever goals the players want to achieve, this is a great platform for them to set out from and grow from. The whole idea is to go out and enjoy yourself.
“These are big games so they shouldn’t put themselves under unnecessary pressure. It’s about holding your nerves and being calm so they need to enjoy themselves.”
India Wins! Himanshu captured 3 wickets for 33 runs in his 4 overs quota to lead India's DAVC team to victory!— RedBullCampusCricket (@RBCampusCricket) October 29, 2019
Tomorrow's first match of the day sees #SriLanka and #UAE take it on for a seat at the play offs #RedBullCampusCricket #WorldFinals pic.twitter.com/W0IdDW0wDk
Suri himself has many fond memories of the global competition as a player with one, in particular, sticking out.
“I went to India and Sri Lanka a couple of times and I had the chance to play against top sides from those countries,” he recalled.
“They were the best universities from hundreds of teams and in India, I was the Man of the Match in one of our victories, so that’s probably my best memory from playing Campus Cricket. It was a big achievement and a proud moment.”
The opening batsman is backing the aspiring cricketers to put on a grand show in the World Finals, although it is team UAE who remain his favourites.
“Yes I’m backing the UAE team to do well. Every team involved is very good because they’ve won their regional qualifiers so they are filled with talented cricketers,” he stated.
“Every cricket fan in the UAE should go down and watch it because it will be a great event for the family and you will see a lot of talented cricketers.”
The Campus Cricket World Finals got underway on October 27 with the competition set to culminate with the grand finale on November 3. Suri, meanwhile, has his focus trained on UAE’s crux clash with Scotland on Wednesday with the winner booking their ticket for next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
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