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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Dougie Brown wants UAE's 'journey to continue' after missing Asia Cup qualification

Coach hurting but still looking forward after defeat to Hong Kong in cup qualifier final at Kuala Lumpur

Dougie Brown is already looking ahead to new challenges that lie in wait for the UAE national cricket team. Satish Kumar for The National
Dougie Brown is already looking ahead to new challenges that lie in wait for the UAE national cricket team. Satish Kumar for The National

Dougie Brown has urged the UAE players to bounce back stronger from the dejection they feel at missing out on playing at a home Asia Cup.

Hong Kong, rather than UAE, will enter a group containing India and Pakistan at the event in Dubai next week, after beating the national team in the final of the qualifier in Malaysia on Thursday.

While the UAE’s leading players have opportunities to look forward to in franchise, short-format cricket in the coming weeks, the immediate future for the national team is suddenly bare.

Rohan Mustafa, Ahmed Raza and Mohammed Naveed are among many UAE players listed in the draft for the Afghanistan Premier League, which takes place in Dubai on Monday.

While that is a distraction, it is unlikely to greatly diminish the disappointment felt by the players after the tournament in Kuala Lumpur.

“While it is hurting at the moment, we have a hell of a lot to look forward to,” coach Brown said. “The journey we have been on for the past few months has been a ridiculously positive one. That needs to continue.

"We need to make sure that what we are feeling at the moment we don’t feel too regularly.

“When you have lost by a really small margin, when you have fought so hard to win the game, it is gut-wrenching. We just need to keep working hard individually and as a team.”

Brown also believes the game’s administrators need to look into an alteration to the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method employed in ran-affected matches.

The national team saw their total of 176-9 revised up by just two runs after their innings in the final was reduced to 24 overs – only after they had faced 15.2 overs already.

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“I thought the whole idea of Duckworth-Lewis was to stop these rain mismatches happening,” Brown said.

“To be credited with an extra two runs, having set your stall out to bat the 50 overs and having the majority of your innings to be at a 50-over tempo, to be adjusted by two runs, I thought was incredibly harsh, and not in keeping with the modern game.”

Hong Kong lost their one-day international status after failing to make the second round of the World Cup Qualifier in March.

However, it has been confirmed their matches against India and Pakistan at the Asia Cup will have full-ODI recognition.

“Any opportunity to play against a Full member nation is always exciting,” Hong Kong coach Simon Cook said.

“The gap between the Full member nations and the top Associates is closing. You just have to look at the Scotland v England game recently to see that on any given day a top Associate can compete with a Full member.

“We are fortunate to be part of the ACC which allows us the opportunity to come up against Full member teams more often, in tournaments such as the Asia Cup.”

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