Dubai: The revamp of the UAE team, who are going through their biggest crisis following their top players coming under an ICC Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) investigation, has commenced. The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has launched a plan to protect their players immediately on the conclusion of their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup qualification campaign in which the UAE, despite making it to the play-offs, could not clinch a place in the howpiece event in Australia.
The ECB appointed Lt Col (ret) Muhammad Azam Khan as Head of Security and Anti-Corruption.
Speaking to Gulf News, Mubasher Usmani, the General Secretary of the ECB, said: “We have decided to put in a strong effort to ensure that such an incident does not happen to the team in future. We feel that our players need to be protected and hence appointed Azam Khan as our board’s Head of Security and Anti-Corruption. He has vast experience as a top official as being the head of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s ACU and consultant of the ICC’s ACU. We as a cricket board are taking all measures to protect the integrity of the game in the UAE for the cricket fans here.”
Usmani also revealed that the decision to appoint Khan was taken after intense study. “It’s important that we as an associate nation for the first time have decided to appoint a Head of Security and Anti-Corruption and that is to ensure maximum protection for everyone and the game,” he said.
UAE skipper Ahmed Raza, while answering to a query from Gulf News on how disappointing was it is to not reach the World Cup after being forced to play under the pressure of losing the team’s top players, said: “Definitely a loss is very hard to swallow but we were outplayed by a very smart team (Scotland). It was a collective failure from the batting unit. You cannot blame them because they performed very well to reach the play offs. We now look forward for the World Cricket League 2 six One dayers to be held here against Scotland and USA. As regards the future we have some very exciting under 19 players coming through the ranks and we have already got young (17-year old) Vriitya Aravind, in the squad. There are promising players like Ansh Tandon, who got a century in the Asia Cup 19 against Sri Lanka and leg spinner Karthik Meiyappan. There are many young talented players and if we get them in the dressing room now, I am sure that will help them in the Under-19 World Cup and after that they can be part of our national team squad as regular members of the team.”
Khalid Al Zarooni, Vice Chairman Emirates Cricket Board, said; “Colonel Khan will have the full and unwavering support of the Board, and the wider management team in our commitment to ensure cricket in the UAE is clean and transparent.”