Dubai. West Indies team, who will take on Pakistan in a month-long cricket series, meet the UAE national team in a Twenty20 warm up match today at the ICC Academy grounds from 7pm.
The training for the first Twenty20 International between Pakistan and West Indies scheduled from September 23 at the Dubai Sports City’s Dubai International stadium commenced in full swing at the ICC Academy with Pakistan team too flying in for the series on Sunday. West Indies team had arrived on September 15 to get acclimatised to the conditions here.
West Indies Twenty20 team is being led by Carlos Brathwaite, who hit four successive sixes to finish off England in the last over to help West Indies lift the 2016 World T20 Cup.
In fact, to play alongside Brathwaite and the World Cup winning team is a huge motivation for UAE team.
Speaking to Gulf News, Amjad Javed, who has been leading the UAE team in international matches, said: “The exposure we gain by playing the World Cup winners will be tremendous. We played in the Asia Cup against top Test playing nations too and that has also added to our confidence. Though we haven’t done well in the longer format, we have always played well against top teams in the shorter format and this will be another good opportunity for our players.”
The West Indies team has players like allrounder Dwayne Bravo, their One Day International team captain Jason Holder, Samuel Badree, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Johnson Charles to name a few.
Skipper Brathwaite announced his plans for the series and is keen to see his team clinch the No. 1 rank in the ICC ranking. “We are trying to cement ourselves as the World’s No. 1 team though rankings don’t show it yet, but our aim coming over here is to defend what we think is our title as the world’s No. 1 T20 team, and we are giving it out 100 per cent.”
Out of the three Twenty20 matches scheduled for this series against Pakistan, the first two matches will be held at the Dubai International Stadium, which has become a popular venue for Twenty20 contests.
After the first Twenty20 match on Friday (September 23) the second match will be held the following day (September 24). The third Twenty20 of the series is scheduled for September 27 in Abu Dhabi.
Even Holder is hoping that the team will adapt well to the conditions.
Speaking before the match against UAE, he said: “We understand these conditions as best as we can and as quickly as we can and get acclimatised to the conditions here. The heat is not something we are accustomed to. We come from the Caribbean which is quite hot at times, but the humidity in the Caribbean is not in the same comparison as it is here. It is just important to get used to the conditions.”