The International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 in Bangladesh will be an event for UAE fans to cheer. UAE had qualified to play in this event by finishing among the top teams in the World Twenty20 qualifiers.
It was a dream come true for some of the cricketers here to be part of a World Cup as it is 18 years since UAE played in a World Cup when they qualified for the 50 over ICC Cricket World Cup in 1996. Two people played vital roles in ensuring that UAE clinch a place in the World Twenty Cup — team coach Aquib Javed and skipper Khurram Khan.
Javed transformed them into a winning unit by instilling confidence in each of the players and Khan led from the front with huge scores and timely break through with his spin.
Speaking to Gulf News, immediately on arrival in Bangladesh, Khan said: “It is a great feeling to be here for World Cup. It is a dream come true.”
Khan had inspired the team through match winning performance. He scored 255 runs to emerge as the leading run-getter of the World Twenty20 qualifiers. He recorded a strike rate of 128.78.
Coach Javed got the best out of the players. “I followed a simple rule and that is by asking everyone to enjoy the game. I asked them to play their role effectively and never talk or think anything negative,” said Javed, whose influence also resulted in UAE qualifying for the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup (50 over) too.
Today UAE has a bunch of outstanding cricketers. By improving their fitness they have also become a fine fielding unit too. Shaimon Anwar, Swapnil Patil, Vikrant Shetty, Amjad Javed, Amjad Ali are batsmen who can tear apart any attack. They have a good bunch of pacers and spinners too.
So what would be needed for a good show in the Bangladesh and which department needs to sparkle? “We need good team effort, it is hard to pin point any department that needs improvement. For victories we need to work as a team,” said Khan who feels his team can handle any challenge.
“It will be a tough challenge as from now on it will get tougher. As my team is doing well I am hoping for best,” he said aiming to clinch a place in the main draw by finishing on top of their qualifying stage group.
In the two warm-up match immediately on arrival in Bangladesh, UAE have proved that they will not be pushovers. Hosts Bangladesh, despite being familiar with the conditions, had to struggle to record a four- wicket win over UAE and reached the victory target with only seven balls to spare.
In the second warm- up match, the UAE trounced Nepal through a fine allround performance.
The fact that their bowlers bowled well to bowl out Nepal for a paltry 95 and their two main batsmen Swapnil Patil and Shaimon Anwar getting among the runs is a positive sign.
Skipper Khurram Khan said after the warm up matches : “It is nice to go into the World Cup with impressive performances and we hope to do well in the World Cup matches too.”