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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

UAE captain Rohan Mustafa frustrated at not being able to play in Indoor Cricket World Cup

All-rounder, who has already featured in two global tournaments for Emirates, will instead lead national team to play World Cricket League matches in Africa.

Rohan Mustafa has represented the UAE in two World Cup tournaments already. Ravindranath K / The National
Rohan Mustafa has represented the UAE in two World Cup tournaments already. Ravindranath K / The National

Rohan Mustafa, the UAE captain, is ruing the fact his chance of representing the country in a third World Cup format has been scuppered by a scheduling clash.

Mustafa was part of the national team’s squad at both the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh in 2014, and the 50 over version in Australia and New Zealand a year later.

As well as being a mainstay of the outdoor team, the left-handed all-rounder is also renowned as being arguably the leading indoor cricket player in the country.

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However, the Indoor Cricket World Cup is to be played at Insportz, Dubai, next month – at exactly the same time as the senior national team will be on tour in Namibia for Intercontinental Cup and World Cricket League matches.

The likes of Vikrant Shetty, Sameer Nayak and Fahad Al Hashmi, who have represented the senior team outdoors in the past, are vying for selection, but Mustafa will be absent.

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“We are going to South Africa and Namibia for important matches in the WCL, so I will not be available for the World Cup,” Mustafa said.

“I have played indoor cricket and have a contract to do so. It is a little bit frustrating because to be a player for the UAE national team in the World Cup, the T20, and then to do the same in indoor cricket, it would be a big achievement to do all that.

“But the WCL matches are very important. We have to try to retain the [one-day international] status and make sure our results come up. There is no other choice, it [the scheduling] is just a little bit unlucky.”

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The national team player Namibia in a four-day, Intercontinental Cup match starting on September 16, with two WCL matches on September 21 and 23.

The UAE are placed last in the WCL at present, but have been in a rich vein of form in recent months as they look to climb the table with just the matches against Namibia, then at home to Nepal, remaining.