Official ICC App

Your App for international cricket. The official ICC app provides coverage across all of the current international action including fixtures, results, videos, ICC news, rankings and more. Don’t miss a moment and keep up with the latest from around the world of cricket!

Esha Oza

UAE opener Esha Oza stands tall to reach for the sky

WT20Q, interview

The youngster has been named on the Women's Global Development Squad.

A few years ago, Esha Oza might have been upset at missing the Fifa World Cup. The Dubai girl was, after all, a budding footballer. But that was until she turned to cricket.

Now, she will be a key player for the United Arab Emirates in the ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifier 2018 in the Netherlands starting 7 July, and she can think of few better reasons for missing watching football than fighting for a spot in the main event in the Caribbean.

The India-born Oza, who will turn 20 in August, stands tall at close to 6ft. A student at the University of Wollongong in Dubai, she is also an opener and off-spin bowler for the UAE. This is the first time the team have made it to the qualifying event – just 10 years after they came together – and it is because of the skill and passion of young women like Oza.

Having started playing cricket only five years ago, she took to the game immediately. She worked hard with her father on weekends, staying out until the light allowed it, and in just nine months, she was on the national team.

“It’s just a passion,” she said. “I used to stay after practice and do extra work. Usually my dad gave me throw downs, and we worked on shots.”

The last year or so has seen all the hard work pay off. In last season’s domestic T20 league, she was the highest scorer with 337 runs from seven matches, including an unbeaten 101.

UAE beat Uganda in their warm-up match
UAE beat Uganda in their warm-up match

She also had a chance to rub shoulders with the likes of Ellyse Perry, when the Australia all-rounder’s Women’s Big Bash League side, Sydney Sixers, came to the UAE for practice. The big names were all encouraging, she said.

“I’ve played one match for the Sydney Sixers,” Oza said. “They had injured players so three of us filled in. I didn’t bat, but I bowled one over and got a wicket.

“We were captained by Ellyse Perry. She’s one of the greatest. Just being around her, it just gives a totally different feeling, [it’s like] you’re on a totally different level with them.”

Video WT20Q 05 Jul 18
#WT20Q: UAE's message to fans

Very soon, she will have more chances to rub shoulders with her cricketing heroes, including Smriti Mandhana – “she’s aggressive, and she plays proper cricketing shots” – Harmanpreet Kaur, Stafanie Taylor, and of course Perry. For Oza has been named in the ICC Women's Global Development Squad.

This combined team, which includes players from the nations participating in the Qualifier, will head to England after the tournament to play against teams from the Kia Super League.

“[It’s] really exciting,” said a delighted Oza. “I didn’t think [I’d ever be] playing with such players before. It’s a great opportunity. I hope I can make the best out of it.”

More News

Personalise your homepage with an ICC account

News, fixtures and updates tailored to your favourite team. Never miss a moment!