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Meet the UAE Team Competing In The Cricket World Cup 2015

February 9th, 2015 | by admin
Meet the UAE Team Competing In The Cricket World Cup 2015

The UAE begin 2015 Cricket World Cup play on February 19 against Zimbabwe. Ahead of the tournament, Paul Radley introduces the members of the Emirati squad, playing in Group B at only their second World Cup and first since 1996, below.

Mohammed Tauqir (captain)

Age: 43; Born: Dubai; Role: Off-spinner; Job: Relationships manager

This time last year it seemed like the National Bank of Abu Dhabi employee had hung up his boots for good, having not played for two years.

Then, after the national team qualified for the World Cup, Tauqir was coaxed back into the fold by selectors craving Emirati representation.

He proceeded to lose 10kgs during an intensive fitness campaign to prove himself worthy of a place in the squad. More than that, he was then handed the captaincy.

Khurram Khan (vice captain)

Age: 43; Born: Pakistan; Role: all-rounder, left-hand batsman, left-arm orthodox; Job: flight purser

An appearance at the World Cup is a fitting finale to one of the greatest international careers there has been outside of the Test nations.

The best player ever to have worn the grey of the UAE national team, he scored a tournament record 581 runs at last year’s World Cup qualifier.

The fact the Emirates airline employee was relieved of the captaincy a month before the tournament may have been a travesty. But it is unlikely to hinder his output.

Swapnil Patil

Age: 29; Born: India; Role: right-hand batsman, wicket-keeper; Job: receptionist

The Mumbai-born wicket-keeper is a mainstay of the batting line-up. Even if Saqlain Haider takes the gloves – as seems likely – Swapnil should still play as a batsman.

Moved to Dubai after landing a job with Yogi Group on the off-chance after going to support his cousin at an interview. He became a star of the staff cricket team and was capped by the UAE as soon as he became eligible four years later.

Saqlain Haider

Age: 27; Born: Pakistan; Role: left-hand batsman, wicket-keeper; Job: Personal banking officer

Good reviews from Rod Marsh, the former Australia wicket-keeper, and others went a long way to cementing the gloveman’s place in the World Cup squad.

Haider, a banking officer and part-time student, played for Australia on a day’s loan last year while Brad Haddin had a rest in the series against Pakistan.

Amjad Javed

Age: 34; Born: Dubai; Role: all-rounder, right-handed batsman, right-arm seam-bowler; Job: cargo loader

Dubai born and raised, Javed has been a fixture in the limited overs side for years. The Dubai International Airport cargo loader has a T20 century to his name in UAE colours.

He was one of the best performers with both bat and ball during the qualifying event. Probably the biggest hitter in the country, but his swing bowling may be more vital to he cause in New Zealand.

Shaiman Anwar

Age: 35; Born: Pakistan; Role: right-hand bat; Job: public relations officer

The pocket powerhouse has been a pillar of the batting line-up for years – but the past 12 months have been worryingly lean. He may have been lucky to beat the reliable Saqib Ali to a place in the final squad.

He made a string of single figure scores in a recent series against Pakistan A, and on tour to West Australia last year. The fact he scored a ton in the qualifying competition in New Zealand last year might have counted in his favour with the selectors.

Amjad Ali

Age: 35; Born: Pakistan; Role: left-hand opening batsman, wicket-keeper; Job: internal services officer

The wristy left-handed opener is one of the most watchable players going around when on song, particularly when the ball is pitched up to him.

The United Bank Limited batsman hit an unbeaten century when the UAE beat Pakistan A in Dubai last year, and was also central to the ODI series win over Afghanistan.

Nasir Aziz

Age: 28; Born: Pakistan; Role: Off-spinner; Job: sales representative

Two years ago, the mystery spinner was regarded as the leader of the UAE bowling attack. Two factors mean he is less than a certain starter, now.

Firstly, he is not allowed to bowl his doosra, after biomechanical testing last year proved his elbow extends beyond the legal 15 degrees when he does.

Then Tauqir was named captain. If there is only space for one frontline spinner, it will have to be the captain.

Rohan Mustafa

Age: 26; Born: Pakistan; Role: all-rounder, left-hand batsman, right-arm off-break and seam-bowler; Job: sales representative

Crept into the final 15 after an eventful 12 months. He was a key figure in qualification, notably for the fact he swapped from bowling spin to seam with good effect.

Then he had his employment visa cancelled after an argument with his employers and was sent back to Pakistan.

At that point his prospects seemed bleak, but the Emirates Cricket Board helped smooth his path back to residency here. Even then, he might not have made the squad had Mohammed Shahzad not broken his thumb.

Manjula Guruge

Age: 34; Born: Sri Lanka; Role: left-arm swing bowler; Job: storekeeper

When the UAE face India on the world’s fastest pitch, in Perth next week, Guruge will have happy memories.

The canny left-arm seamer, who regularly takes a public bus from his home in Abu Dhabi to get to training and matches in Dubai and Sharjah, took six wickets in the opening match when the UAE toured Perth last year.

Andri Berenger

Age: 23; Born: Dubai; Role: right-handed opener; Job: event management

The other half of a dynamic opening partnership, alongside Amjad Ali. A newcomer to the side midway through last season, he has quickly become one of the first names on the teamsheet.

He has an attacking outlook with the bat, and is rare among the UAE players in that he is a strong back-foot player. Also in a minority as an outstanding fieldsman.

Fahad Al Hashmi

Age: 32; Born: Dubai; Role: Seam-bowler; Job: policeman

Could count himself lucky to have made the squad, in front of some very deserving candidates, but he did show up well in the recent series against Afghanistan after a lengthy spell out of the side.

The Emirati seam-bowler took four wickets in two games against the Afghans, at a fair economy rate, too. Not bad, given he had not played for the national team for four years.

Mohammed Naveed

Age: 27; Born: Pakistan; Role: Fast bowler; Job: Accounts clerk

Picked out by Aaqib Javed as one of the players who could catch the eye of the watching millions at the World Cup. Amazing, considering his humble beginnings in the game.

He first came to UAE to visit friends in Fujairah, and the only cricket he played was in the streets with a tape-ball.

Then he took the bus from the northern emirate to UAE trials in Sharjah, and coach Aaqib Javed took him under his wing.

He adapted quickly to playing with a hard leather ball, and is now the attack leader, the fastest bowler in the country. And he can bat, too.

Kamran Shahzad

Age: 34; Born: Pakistan; Role: right-arm fast-bowler; Job: sales representative

A powerful fast-bowler with a slingy action who is highly valued by Aaqib Javed, who has claimed Kamran is the fastest bowler from outside the Test nations.

He is capable of touching speeds of 145kph, according to the coach, and his yorkers could prove valuable in stemming the runs in the death overs.

Krishnachandran Karate

Age: 30; Born: India; Role: Seam-bowling all-rounder; Job: Customer service officer

A Keralan who has emerged as a key all-rounder, especially in the absence of Mohammed Shahzad, and the possessor of one of the coolest names in cricket.

If he makes the starting XI, he might find himself being called upon in the business overs at the end of the innings with both the bat and the ball. Not bad, considering just a few months ago he was sent to a psychologist by the coach because he lacked self belief.

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