Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Kabir can give UAE a boost

Thanks to Khan's influence, Afghanistan's players have passport stamps from genuine cricket playing destinations.

If Kabir Khan's credentials for the job of UAE national team coach were in any doubt, then even the live scoreboard tab on cricinfo.com was working in his favour yesterday. 

Underneath the link to the page for the first Test between India and Australia was the access point for a fixture between Afghanistan and Kenya in Nairobi. The scorecard reported that the Afghans were rapidly building on a first innings lead in excess of 300 against the nation who could historically lay claim to be the best from outside the Test sphere.

This is the same Afghan side who used to lose regularly to the UAE. They began playing less than a decade ago, after refugees returned from Pakistan armed with a knowledge of a new sport called cricket. 

When Afghanistan first played international matches, Kenya were reaching the semi-final of the 50-over World Cup. Kabir cannot claim all the credit for Afghanistan's rise. They were on the march before he was in charge, but the job he did smoothing the rough edges is highly commendable.

Thanks to Kabir's influence, Afghanistan's players have passport stamps from genuine cricket playing destinations, like the Caribbean, to go with the ones from the nether reaches of cricket's sphere, like Jersey and Tanzania, when they were just starting out. 

Some have even got a genuine chance of playing in the Indian Premier League. Kabir frequently trumpeted their cases to do so.When the Emirates Cricket Board ended its pursuit of Mudassar Nazar, Kabir was the obvious choice. If he stays for the long-term, the UAE's cricket future could be bright.

arizvi@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Mitchell Johnson of Kings XI Punjab bowling in the IPL match against Rajasthan Royals at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on Sunday. Pawan Singh / The National / April 20, 2014

IPL Day 5 action in Sharjah

Images from the fifth day of the Indian Premier League in the UAE on Sunday, with Kings XI Punjab beating Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets with eight balls remaining.

 Raheem Sterling of Liverpool scores the opening goal against Norwich City on Sunday at Carrow Road. Michael Regan / Getty Images / April 20, 2014

In pictures: Sterling, Suarez inch Liverpool closer to title

Raheem Sterling, with a double, and Luis Suarez accounted for all three goals in Liverpool’s 3-2 away win over Norwich City on Sunday, leaving them five points up on Chelsea with three left to play.

 Manager Matt Williams benching star Bryce Harper, above, may have sent the wrong message to the rest of the Washington Nationals. Mike Ehrmann / AFP

Benching Harper sends Williams’s right message the wrong way

Matt Williams, the Washington Nationals manager, made the biggest move of his 18-game tenure on Saturday, benching rising star Bryce Harper for his “lack of hustle”.

 Arsenal's Lukas Podolski celebrates his second goal during the Premier League match against Hull City at The KC Stadium in Hull, England, on April 20, 2014. Lynne Cameron / AP Photo

Arsenal maintain push for top-four finish with victory at Hull

Hull could end up in Europe regardless of the FA Cup final result if Arsenal finish in the Uefa Champions League places

 Ashish Nehra of Chennai Super Kings bowls to Kings XI Punjab at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL

But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 Stanislas Wawrinka turned away fellow Swiss Roger Federer with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory at the Monte Carlo Masters on April 20, 2014. Julian Finney / Getty Images

Wawrinka backhands Federer aside at Monte Carlo Masters

Stanislas Wawrinka won the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time after rallying to beat Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in a rare all-Swiss final.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National