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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Abu Dhabi to host UAE against Australia in one-off Twenty20 match

Match, scheduled to start at 2pm on Monday at ground adjoining Zayed Cricket Stadium, given official status

UAE captain Rohan Mustafa, centre, can expect to lead his side into plenty more ODIs in the near future thanks to the ICC's new structure. ACC
UAE captain Rohan Mustafa, centre, can expect to lead his side into plenty more ODIs in the near future thanks to the ICC's new structure. ACC

The UAE will play in their most high-profile home fixture in more than two decades when they face Australia in a Twenty20 international in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

The match had been pencilled in to the initial schedule for Australia’s tour to the UAE as a warm-up practice match, ahead of the 50-overs world champions’ matches against Pakistan in the format.

However, it was upgraded to full international status this week, after the Pakistan Cricket Board and Cricket Australia jointly sanctioned it.

The fixture will not be televised or streamed live online, because of pre-existing commercial arrangements for the PCB.

The Emirates Cricket Board, though, says it is grateful that both the Full Member boards agreed to give the match official status.

The match, which will be played at Abu Dhabi Cricket Oval 1, which is adjacent to the main Zayed Cricket Stadium, on Monday October 22, starting at 2pm. Admission is free.

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“We are delighted to be in a position to announce this fixture and we are extremely grateful to the ICC for their support in accrediting the Abu Dhabi oval for T20 International cricket at such short notice,” Zayed Abbas, an ECB board member, said.

“Our thanks also go to Cricket Australia for approaching this opportunity so positively, and especially to the Pakistan Cricket Board for permitting this match during their home tour in the UAE with Australia. It has been an incredible effort from all parties to bring this match to fruition.”

Australia are the foremost side to face the national team in a fixture in this country since the UAE played against India and Pakistan at the Asia Cup in Sharjah in 1994.

It is the first time the national team have played a T20i in over a year. The ECB is hopeful the fixture will be the first of many against sides touring these shores for international series involving Pakistan.

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“This match will provide an exceptionally good test for our players,” Waleed Bukhatir, the chief selector of the UAE team, said.

“We need them to be put under pressure and for them to focus more intently by being challenged by higher ranked, leading teams within our game.

“To do so it is vitally important for the Full Member countries and the ICC to support and provide the Associates with such opportunities.

"We are extremely thankful to the ICC, Cricket Australia and the Pakistan Cricket Board for supporting this match.”

Australia’s T20 tour squad to the UAE includes some of the format’s best known-players, such as Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell, Andrew Tye and Chris Lynn.

The UAE have not been in action since they missed out on qualification for the Asia Cup last month, but Mohammed Naveed, the fast bowler, has been playing in the Afghanistan Premier League in Sharjah.