UAE return from Oman-1714061352745
A victorious UAE team returned to home after winning the Premier Cup, which helped them seal a spot in the Asia Cup 2025. Image Credit: Source: ECB X

Dubai: UAE’s recent success in the ACC Premier Cup in Oman was largely due to the self belief in the team, feels head coach Lalchand Rajput. The win ensured the team booked a place in the 2025 Asia Cup and will be playing alongside Asian giants India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

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“It’s a great feeling to win the Premier Cup and book a place in the Asia Cup 2025. It gives an opportunity to play against top teams like India and Pakistan and playing against these teams will give them a lot of confidence. That’s the main focus for me. This win has definitely increased the interest among the people of UAE. Once you start winning, more and more people would like to join,” the former Indian opener, who has managed to bring about the change since he took charge of the UAE a few months ago, told Gulf News.

Two key components

“Basically, when you go into the ground, you got to be confident about yourself and self belief. These are the two things which are very important. When you believe in yourself, you can conquer it, so we should always believe in our own abilities,” he added.

The UAE ended a barren run of not taking part in the Asia Cup by defeating hosts Oman in the Premier Cup final.

Skipper Muhammad Waseem’s century formed the backbone of UAE scoring a mammoth 204 for four on Sunday. The UAE bowlers, led by Junaid Siddique, restricted the hosts to 149 for nine in 20 overs.

“Expectations are always going to be high. I have done it before, so I know what people expect, that I have to win all the games. That’s the truth. I think it’s a process because you cannot change anything overnight and it takes a period of time. So this is the first step and we have moved forward.

“Definitely the next big step will be the qualification for the 2027 World Cup. That’s our main focus,” the coach added.

UAE skipper Muhammad Waseem celebrates his century against Oman. Image Credit: Source: ECB X

While the UAE have been a dominating force in the Twenty20 format in the last few years, including booking a place in the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia in 2022. UAE also scored their first win in the showpiece after a long drought when they defeated Namibia.

Lack of exposure

On the contrary, UAE have been falling short of making the grade in the 50-over format, which Rajput had attributed to lack of exposure. However, the coach is confident that the Waseem-led team will be a force to reckon with in whiteball cricket. He added that the experience and the exposure gained while playing in leagues like DP World ILT20 will only smoothen and fast track this process.

After the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA in June, the World Cup League 2 competition will resume. Rajput is confident of overturning the recent losses the team suffered at home during the league.

Veteran UAE pacer Junaid Siddique celebrates one of his three wickets against Oman in the final. Image Credit: Source: ECB X

“You got to be very practical and understand the psyche of each player and you have to manage them. There is no one rule for every player. I adopt a different tool for different player, so I am able to get the best out of the players. That is USP of a good coach to be successful,” he narrated his success mantra.

“This win is ease the pressure on the players and will definitely help them play better in the future. There is more to come from them. Our performance in the 50-over World Cup events have not been the best, but we have been working on that. I am sure we will be a different team in the next couple of months,” he said with an air of confidence.