Team UAE’s achievement in the recently concluded World Cup qualifiers should be showcased as the best by any cricket team in the world this year. While they may be just among the few nations who qualified for the World Cup, what is important is that this team is made of die-hard believers in their skills who overcame several obstacles to earn the rights of playing in the biggest stage in world cricket.
Despite being ‘amateurs’ who pursue their sport after working hard for their livelihood, Khurram Khan’s men played like professional cricketers through their sheer passion for the game in order to beat teams made up of professionals. It is high time they are made to feel like professionals, to say the least.
Strangely, the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is yet to make an official statement recognising these cricket heroes. A few month back, the UAE qualified for the Twenty20 World Cup too, yet no felicitation event was organised. To qualify for two of the world’s most coveted cricket tournaments is no mean achievement. This is also something that will inspire the coming generation of cricketers too.
All the same, these UAE cricketers are quite likely to be unaffected by this attitude since as all of them are in it for the sheer passion for the game; yet an official announcement from the national cricket body recognising their efforts would have gone a long way.
In fact, many have taken leave from their work, sometimes with financial cuts as well. What is important to them is to beat some of the professional teams and prove that they are a power in world cricket. And this has been instilled in them to a great extent by their positive thinking coach Aquib Javed.
When it was announced that UAE will have to qualify by winning in New Zealand, everyone wrote them off. Especially since most of the players have trained only on the UAE’s slow tracks. The first thing that Javed did was to shut the players’ ears to those who raised doubts on their skills and also advised them never to speak anything negative.
A positive approach always yields positive results. It would be useful if the ECB too took a leaf out of the team’s approach and that of the coach to do something positive for the team.