UAE captain believes players’ experience of domestic cricket in Pakistan will help them in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018.
The United Arab Emirates captain Rohan Mustafa believes that having in his side those who have played domestic cricket in Pakistan brings in experience and maturity, making UAE a competitive side in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018.
“A few of them have played first-class [cricket] in Pakistan, and they are very mature cricketers," he said. "I think they know their value. It will be a tough tournament and we believe we have a very good side."
UAE showed in the recent World Cricket League Division 2 tournament, where they not only confirmed their place for this Qualifier but also won the tournament, that they could step up under pressure.
They are in Group A, with Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, and West Indies. Many of those teams have players who’ve featured in top leagues around the world. But despite not having a Chris Gayle or even a Sandeep Lamichhane in their midst, Mustafa feels UAE have a good chance of doing well.
“The more big names you have, you will have more pressure," he said. "And to be honest, we don’t have any pressure. And big names, on the cricket field, there are no big names. If it’s your day, you don’t need to have a big name.
“I think we have to believe in ourselves and give our 100% on every ball. I still believe we have a very good side to qualify for the World Cup”.
It has been raining in Zimbabwe ahead of the Qualifier and the pitches are expected to aid slower bowling. Mustafa, though, wasn’t concerned.
“We are coming from Namibia, and it is the same condition all over here," he said. "So I think it is tough for everyone, not for us only.
“It’s a great opportunity to be able to play in Zimbabwe. We played in Kwekwe today and it’s a great ground. We haven’t seen the Harare ground and [the other venues], but I believe it will be a great opportunity to play there as well.”
UAE begin their campaign on 4 March against Netherlands at Old Hararians Sports Club.