KARACHI // The UAE could soon have full one-day international status, according to the newly appointed chairman of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Nasim Ashraf. The Emirates are ranked outside of cricket's one-day elite, meaning they rarely get a chance to test themselves against the best. However, that could change after Ashraf, who is also the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, succeeded Arjuna Ranatunga as the ACC chief on Sunday. He says he plans to use his two-year tenure to lobby for one more country within the powerful Asian bloc to be granted full one-day status.
"We are expecting that in the next two years hopefully one more team from Asia will get one-day status," said Ashraf at the annual general meeting of the ACC in Karachi. "There are several emerging cricket countries in Asia. The United Arab Emirates and Oman have good outfits. Our focus is to further strengthen Asian Cricket with no political motives." Emirates cricket chiefs have hailed the news as a major boost for the game in the country. "It is definitely very exciting," said Mazhar Khan, the administrator of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB). "The ACC is doing its best to support all its members. As our development continues, the aim is for there to be one more full one-day international/Test side.
"When we hear things like that, and that the Asia Cup will be staged in an Associate country in 2010, that is a big boost for us. He [Ashraf] is well aware of the standard of facilities we have to offer." The UAE are the most successful non-Test playing nation in Asia. They qualified for the World Cup in 1996, and have won the ACC Trophy, the competition for the elite Associate nations on the continent, every time they have entered.
That has afforded them entry to the past two Asia Cup tournaments, where they were pitted against the big four Asia Test sides - India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org