Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 November 2019

Faizan Asif and Vriitya Aravind added to UAE squad for T20 World Cup qualifier

ICC approves replacements for the suspended Ashfaq Ahmed and Ghulam Shabber, who went AWOL

UAE batsman Faizan Asif. Pawan Singh / The National
UAE batsman Faizan Asif. Pawan Singh / The National

The ICC have approved two replacement players for the UAE squad for the T20 World Cup Qualifier.

Faizan Asif, a big-hitting opening batsman who played for the UAE in their one previous appearance at the 20-over World Cup, in Bangladesh in 2014, will replace Ashfaq Ahmed.

Vriitya Aravind, a 17-year-old wicketkeeper, will replace Ghulam Shabber, who went absent without leave after the second match of the tournament.

Ashfaq was provisionally suspended by the Emirates Cricket Board, as part of the ICC’s investigation into anti-corruption.

According to the ICC press release confirming the replacement players, Shabber is also now considered to be “suspended by the ECB for opting out of the UAE squad without intimation”.

The reinforcements arrive as the UAE get ready to take on the Netherlands at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.

The winners of that game will earn qualification for the World Cup, in Australia next year.

The UAE sealed their place in the second-phase of the tournament after a 14-run win over Canada at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday night.

After the nervy end to the group phase in the capital, UAE captain Ahmed Raza says the side are looking forward to what comes next.

“Our pre-tournament camp was in Dubai and we played games in Dubai Stadium itself, be that day games or night games,” Raza said.

“It is our home. The players are going to be looking forward to going back to Dubai because most of their families are around there.”

Updated: October 28, 2019 03:31 PM

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