UAE Captain Ahmed Raza & Netherlands Captain Pieter Seelaar

Ahmed Raza finds inspiration in fellow skippers Seelaar, Coetzer

UAE news

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Ahmed Raza, the UAE captain, looks to his colleagues in the Netherlands and Scotland in finding inspiration to lead his team.

Raza, 31, has led his country in 24 internationals, in two stints. He most recently took over as skipper in October 2019.

Speaking to The National, Raza said it was important for him to have the trust and respect of his players, and watching Pieter Seelaar, the Netherlands captain, and Scotland's Kyle Coetzer, influenced him.

"Seelaar leads a very diverse team," Raza said. "I look at how he goes about his business, as a home-grown player, and see how his teammates respect him a lot as a leader.

"That is one thing I want from my team, too. I want it to grow, and I want people who come into the team to trust me. If they trust and respect me, they will go an extra yard for me."

Raza has enjoyed a long career with UAE cricket, which has extended across 14 years. He rates being a part of the team won the World Cricket League Division 2 and made it to the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier that same year to secure ODI status as one of the highlights of his career.

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"All I thought about was what would happen if cricket was over for us, if we didn’t retain our ODI status," he said. "What [former skipper] Khurram Khan gave us in 2014 [in taking the team to the 2015 World Cup], why can’t we give it to the next generation now? We have that responsibility.

"As a cricketer, I have never been challenged so much. That is what makes you a cricketer: when you are pushed into a corner, how do you come out from it? To come out of it the way we did, that really sticks with me."

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