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UAE cricket appears in Wisden Almanack

Growth of the game, outstanding players and venues covered in world-famous reference book

Gulf News

Dubai: For the first time, a special chapter has been dedicated to UAE cricket in the Wisden Almanack.

The Almanack highlights the activities of the top cricket-playing nations around the world and the achievements of outstanding cricketers each year.

Gulf News Chief Cricket Writer K.R. Nayar wrote the chapter on the UAE.

The Wisden Almanack 2013 also includes an Indian edition for the first time, in an effort to reach out to more readers.

The UAE’s spectacular win over Scotland and Kenya in ICC tournaments and the Under-16 team’s finish as runners-up in the Asian Cricket Council Challenge Cup in Thailand, which won them promotion to the Elite Cup, are mentioned in the chapter.

The Emirates Cricket Board — whose hosting of World Twenty20 qualifiers has won international acclaim for the facilities at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Dubai International and Sharjah Cricket Stadiums and ICC Global Cricket Academy grounds — has got special mention.

There is also reference to the increasing number of tournaments in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain for all age categories and the Sharjah Cricket Stadium’s record for hosting the highest number of One-Day Internationals.

The selection of one of the UAE’s most consistent batsmen, Saqib Ali, to play for the ICC Associate and Affiliate team against England and the appointment of former Pakistan Test star Aaqib Javed as the new national coach of the team also receives coverage.

The Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, which is published annually, is considered to be the world’s most famous sports reference book. It was founded in 1864 by English cricketer John Wisden and has been published every year since then, making it the longest-running sports annual in history.

Nayar, who is a jury member of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) annual awards voting academy, has been reporting on cricket in the UAE in Gulf News for 18 years.