Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 October 2019

Batting duo Shaiman Anwar and Chirag Suri recalled to UAE squad for Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier

Both batsmen missed UAE's recent cleansweep away to Netherlands to play in Global T20 Canada

Shaiman Anwar missed the UAE's recent cleansweep of the Netherlands to play in the Global T20 Canada. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Shaiman Anwar missed the UAE's recent cleansweep of the Netherlands to play in the Global T20 Canada. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Shaiman Anwar and Chirag Suri have been restored to the UAE squad for the Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier, which starts next month.

The batting duo missed the national team’s most recent assignment, as they opted to play at the Global T20 Canada instead.

The UAE thrived in their absence, as they picked up a morale-boosting 4-0 cleansweep away in the Netherlands in August, against a side who will also be targeting one of the six qualification berths for the World Cup.

While that series was going on, the absent pair were in fine form in Canada, too.

Shaiman, 40, was the third highest run-scorer in the franchise competition, finishing ahead of the likes of Chris Gayle, Shoaib Malik and Lendl Simmons in the charts.

He was man of the match as Winnipeg Hawks won the final, for his 45-ball 90 against a bowling attack that included West Indies’ IPL star Andre Russell.

That innings was the culmination of a sequence of five scores of 30 or more in his final six innings in the competition, during which time he scored at a faster rate than his opening partner Chris Lynn, the big-hitting Australian.

“We know Shaiman is an incredibly talented player,” Dougie Brown, the UAE coach, said of a player who is currently ranked No 21 in the ICC's standings for T20 batsmen.

“He is on the older side, but he is still a really fit guy and his batting over the past couple of months has been nothing short of outstanding.

“To go to the Global T20 and out-bat Chris Lynn in the number of games he did, that is really exciting for me as the coach of the national side.

“He has brought that form back to our environment as well, which is excellent. When Shaiman is at his best, we know that he makes an enormous difference.

“There are six games in the group stage. If Shaiman can influence three of them – and he is good enough to influence all of them – it will be really exciting for us.”

UAE batsman Chirag Suri also caught the eye during the recent Global T20 Canada. Chris Whiteoak / The National
UAE batsman Chirag Suri also caught the eye during the recent Global T20 Canada. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Although he had less game time than Shaiman, Suri caught the eye in Canada, too, most notably with a match-winning 52 in a group stage win for Toronto Nationals.

“Chirag is playing really well at the minute and has thoroughly deserved his opportunity to get back in and push for a starting place,” Brown said.

Zawar Farid, who was one of three players to make his UAE debut on the Netherlands tour, is also retained in the 15-man squad for the Qualifier.

The 14-team competition carries with it six places at the World Cup in Australia next year.

The winners of the pool phase of the tournament will gain direct entry to the main event. UAE are the top-ranked side in a group with Ireland, Oman, Hong Kong, Canada, Jersey and Nigeria, with all their pool matches taking place in Abu Dhabi, starting on Friday, October 20.

The other group contains Scotland, who are the highest-ranked side in the competition, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Namibia, Singapore, Kenya and Bermuda.

“Our goal in this tournament is to finish top of our pool and secure direct qualification into the World Cup, and we are confident in our side’s abilities to help make this a reality,” Waleed Bukhatir, the UAE’s chief selector, said

UAE fixtures

October 18 – 7.30pm, UAE v Oman, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

October 19 – 7.30pm, UAE v Ireland, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

October 21 – 2.10pm, UAE v Hong Kong, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

October 22 – 2.10pm, UAE v Jersey, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

October 24 – 10am, UAE v Nigeria, Abu Dhabi Cricket Oval 1

October 27 – 7.30pm, UAE v Canada, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

October 29 – 2.10pm, Play-off 1 – A2 v B3; 7.30pm, Play-off 2 – A3 v B2, at Dubai International Stadium

October 30 – 2.10pm, Play-off 3 – A4 v Loser of Play-off 1; 7.30pm, Play-off 4 – B4 v Loser of Play-off 2 at Dubai International Stadium

November 1 – 2.10pm, Semi-final 1 – B1 v Winner of Play-off 1; 7.30pm, Semi-final 2 – A1 v Winner of Play-off 2 at Dubai International Stadium

November 2 – 2.10pm, Third place Play-off – B1 v Winner of Play-off 1; 7.30pm, Final, at Dubai International Stadium

Updated: September 17, 2019 01:11 PM

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