DUBAI // The Emirati cricketer Mohammed Tauqir will miss helping the UAE try to qualify for the World Cup because of the worldwide recession. Tauqir, the country's longest serving player, was a surprise absentee when the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) named their squad for the ICC World Cup qualifying tournament in South Africa next month. As a relationships manager for Barclays Bank, Tauqir has had his focus shifted from the cricket field due to the economic slowdown.
"For the time being, I am not focused at all on cricket," said Tauqir, 37. "I have not been to one training session and could not commit any time to the game. "Cricket demands a lot of time, and it is not really possible for me to give that because of these tough market conditions. "Working in wealth management and trying to bring investors in, I can't take a month and a half off to play cricket. Then the targets I have to hit within 12 months have to be made within 10 or 11. We are amateur cricketers in the UAE, not professionals. I think it is more important to support my family."
Tauqir's withdrawal means the team are again now almost entirely peopled by expatriates. The ECB implemented a four-player quota system for Emiratis ahead of the Asia Cup in Pakistan last year, but it has since been aborted. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org