The United Arab Emirates are looking to reach their third ICC Cricket World Cup when they take part in the qualifying event in Zimbabwe that gets underway on 4 March. The UAE have made it into the Cricket World Cup Qualifier as a result of winning World Cricket League Division 2 in a thrilling tournament in Namibia.
8 February – Beat Kenya by 218 runs
9 February – Lost to Canada by 23 runs
11 February – Lost to Nepal by 4 wickets
12 February – Beat Oman by 46 runs
15 February – Beat Nepal by 7 wickets
ICC CWCQ Group A
Papua New Guinea
United Arab Emirates
4 March – v Papua New Guinea, Harare Sports Club, Harare
6 March – West Indies, Old Hararians Sports Club, Harare
8 March – Netherlands, Harare Sports Club, Harare
10 March – Ireland, Old Hararians Sports Club, Harare
Squad: Rohan Mustafa (capt), Adnan Mufti, Ahmed Raza, Amir Hayat, Ashfaq Ahmed, Chirag Suri, Ghulam Shabbir, Imran Haider, Muhammad Boota, Muhammad Naveed, Muhammad Usman, Qadeer Ahmed, Rameez Shahzad, Shaiman Anwar, Zahoor Khan
UAE’s captain Rohan Mustafa says his team are in a good place going into this tournament, with the experience in their squad from previous ICC events a big bonus.
“We are in fine shape to produce good results in Zimbabwe as we are coming at the back of a winning performance in Namibia. Then we have Shaiman (Anwar) and (Muhammad) Naveed who played in the 2015 World Cup and the World Twenty20 2016 and have been sharing their experiences and lifting the players’ spirits."
While Naveed and Shaiman's experience will be a big help, it was Rohan himself that played the biggest part in getting his team to this tournament. At the World Cricket League Division 2 tournament he scored 183 runs, including two half-centuries, and was UAE’s leading wicket-taker with 13 victims. He will be a huge part of the UAE’s efforts to make it to the World Cup.
UAE get their tournament underway against Papua New Guinea at the Harare Sports Club on 4 March. A win in that first game would be the perfect start with tougher tests expected to follow.
Cricket World Cup history
The UAE have appeared at two ICC Cricket World Cups, with the previous edition in 2015 their most recent, when they lost all six matches.
In their previous appearance, at the 1996 edition, they won a solitary match against the Netherlands.
What needs to go right for UAE to qualify?
For UAE to make the Super Sixes they need their experienced players, Shaiman Anwar and Muhammad Naveed, to stand up and be counted. They need to show the players with less experience that they have the quality to compete and progress through the tournament. They will also require their captain, Mustafa, to recapture the form that saw him perform so well at the World Cricket League Division 2 tournament.