Dubai: The UAE, in tune with the modern day cricket philosophies, for the first time has adopted a two-captain policy for white-ball cricket to take the team forward. Veteran batter CP Rizwan will be leading the team in the T20, beginning with the Asia Cup qualifiers to be held in Oman from August 20 to 24, while Ahmed Raza will continue to be the UAE’s ODI (50-over) captain.
“The Emirates Cricket’s selection committee, after extensive discussions and detailed review of the side’s recent 50-over performance, believes that providing respective captains with a sole-format-focus will create a strong leadership succession plan and encourages a singular commitment to fine-tuning strategic on-field components of the game,” said an Emirates Cricket Board statement on Thursday.
The move comes at a crucial time for the UAE, who have qualified for the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in Australia in October this year.
“UAE’s T20 has exceptional depth and this strategy comes at an optimal time to assess what is best for this format moving into the (ICC T20) World Cup and beyond. UAE’s High Performance unit believes this presents a solid opportunity to consider and open-up all options — player make-up and captaincy — to take the game forward. Therefore, Ahmed Raza will continue as the UAE’s ODI (50-over format) captain, where UAE will reap the benefits under his guidance and experience, while C P Rizwaan has been named T20 captain for the Asia Cup campaign,” the statement added.
Emirates Cricket also announced the UAE team for the Asia Cup 2022 Qualifier. UAE will compete against Hong Kong, Kuwait, and Singapore in their bid to secure the one-place available for the Asia Cup 2022, to be played in the UAE August 27 to September 11. The top qualifiers will secure a place in Group A with powerhouses India and Pakistan.
Dr. Tayeb Kamali, Selection Committee Chairman, Emirates Cricket, said; “This is an exceptionally exciting time for UAE Cricket. The qualifier is a great opportunity in our quest to compete in the Asia Cup 2022, and play against the best of our game, on home-soil.
“Our players and the coaching team have displayed commendable fortitude in their commitment to their training throughout the UAE summer, and we wish our team the very best as they aim to secure their place in Asia Cup’s Group A.”
A step closer to goal
Robin Singh, Emirates Cricket’s Director of Cricket and Head Coach, said; “It’s important we remain focused on the immediate task; one match, one win at a time. And each win (in the qualifier) is a step closer to the goal of competing in the Asia Cup.
“We have solid experience with the conditions in Oman and our team — players and support — know the areas we need to focus on. Preparations have gone well (and) it will then be up to the team to deliver on the day, and we will not be taking any opposing team lightly — especially in a T20 format.”
The UAE team:
C P Rizwaan (captain), Chirag Suri, Muhammad Waseem, Vriitya Aravind, Ahmed Raza, Basil Hameed, Rohan Mustafa, Kashif Daud, Karthik Meiyappan, Zahoor Khan, Zawar Farid, Alishan Sharafu, Sabir Ali, Aryan Lakra, Sultan Ahmad, Junaid Siddique, Fahad Nawaz.