Dubai: UAE all-rounder Basil Hameed returns to the team for the 10-team Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Premier Cup 2023, the qualifier for the Asia Cup to be held later this year.
The Emirates Cricket Board has announced a 14-member squad that will compete in the April 19-30 event, to be held in Kathmandu, Nepal. The winners of the ACC Premier Cup 2023, a precursor for the 50-over ACC Asia Cup, scheduled to be played later this year, will be able to qualify for the continental championship.
The teams have been divided into two groups of five teams each with UAE featuring in Group B alongside Hong Kong, Kuwait, Singapore and Bahrain. The Muhammad Waseem-led side will play Kuwait in their opening match on Wednesday at Kathmandu’s TU Ground.
UAE delivered an outstanding performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers Playoff in Namibia to qualify for the final round of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Qualifiers, which will be played in Zimbabwe in June and July this year. Middle-order batter Basil Hameed replaced Aryansh Sharma, who was part of that team.
UAE captain Waseem said: “The ACC Premier Cup 2023 is another important tournament for us as we are fully focused on qualifying for this year’s 50-over Asia Cup. The team displayed remarkable tenacity to produce a quality performance in Namibia, which has provided us the opportunity of competing for a spot in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
“The team has played fantastic cricket of late as a well-knit unit. I have been very impressed by the commitment and passion of our players. I am confident that we will continue to play in the same manner in Nepal for what should be a real competitive tournament with a single qualifying spot available for the Asia Cup.”
Mudassar Nazar will be the head coach of the squad for the ACC Premier Cup 2023.
Muhammad Waseem (captain), Aayan Khan, Ansh Tandon, Aryan Lakra, Asif Khan, Basil Hameed, Junaid Siddique, Karthik Meiyappan, Matiullah, Rameez Shahzad, Rohan Mustafa, Sanchit Sharma, Vriitya Aravind and Zahoor Khan.
Aryansh Sharma and Ali Naseer will travel with team to Nepal as reserves.
ACC Premier Cup 2023 in Nepal — UAE matches:
April 19: UAE vs Kuwait
April 21: UAE vs Hong Kong
April 23: UAE vs Singapore
April 26: UAE vs Bahrain
April 29: Semi-finals to be played
April 30: Third position match
May 1: Final