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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

UAE ready for baptism of fire at World Cup of indoor cricket in Dubai with Jesse Ryder's New Zealand up first

The host nation follow that by playing Australia, the nine-time World Cup winners, at the start of Day 2.

Jesse Ryder has played Test cricket for New Zealand as well as Indian Premier League cricket. He will represent his county at the World Cup of Indoor cricket in Dubai. Indranil Mukherjee / AFP
Jesse Ryder has played Test cricket for New Zealand as well as Indian Premier League cricket. He will represent his county at the World Cup of Indoor cricket in Dubai. Indranil Mukherjee / AFP

UAE will face the toughest possible start to the World Cup of indoor cricket.

The men’s team begin the tournament, which will be played at Insportz, Dubai next month, by facing a New Zealand side that has Jesse Ryder in their ranks.

Ryder, who has played Test cricket, as well as in the Indian Premier League, and is currently participating in the Caribbean Premier League, is the most high-profile player in the competition.

The host nation follow that by playing Australia, the nine-time World Cup winners, at the start of Day 2.

The fledgling UAE women’s team, meanwhile, will have to bridge a significant gap in terms of experience in their opener against Australia.

The home side, who are essentially the women’s outdoor national team, have played little indoor cricket to date.

They will be up against an Australia side who, like their male compatriots, have won the World Cup each time it has been staged to date.

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Rather than being daunted by the prospect, the UAE men's players are looking forward to the challenge.

That is the view of Sameer Nayak, who is one of several players in the UAE side who have also represented the country in the outdoor format.

“I’ve seen [Ryder] hit the ball really far outdoors, and I am thinking about how he is going to play indoors,” Nayak said.

“It is actually a good opportunity for us to play against a player like him and to test ourselves.

“It is good for us that the first two games are against New Zealand and Australia. They are the toughest, so after that we will be in a good position to plan and get the skills.

“It is always important to get wins, but also the skills to go with it.”

The men’s competition involves one group of nine teams.

The hosts will also face India, who have a UAE involvement both in terms of the management team and Karan Singh Sandhu, a Dubai-based player, and Sri Lanka, who have several players who formerly worked in UAE.

According to Andy Russell, the Emirates Cricket Board development manager, who has overseen the progress of the indoor teams, facing the toughest teams at the start could help the host teams.

“I don’t think we could have asked for it to be any harder, to be perfectly honest,” Russell said.

“It will be a shock to the system for some of the guys who haven’t played at that level, but they are excited and it can only get better from that point of view.

“Australia have won every World Cup since the beginning, so to even compete against them would be a big learning curve for the guys.”

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Indoor cricket World Cup

Insportz, Dubai, September 16-23

UAE fixtures:

Men

Saturday, September 16 – 1.45pm, v New Zealand

Sunday, September 17 – 10.30am, v Australia; 3.45pm, v South Africa

Monday, September 18 – 2pm, v England; 7.15pm, v India

Tuesday, September 19 – 12.15pm, v Singapore; 5.30pm, v Sri Lanka

Thursday, September 21 – 2pm v Malaysia

Friday, September 22 – 3.30pm, semi-final

Saturday, September 23 – 3pm, grand final

Women

Saturday, September 16 – 5.15pm, v Australia

Sunday, September 17 – 2pm, v South Africa; 7.15pm, v New Zealand

Monday, September 18 – 5.30pm, v England

Tuesday, September 19 – 10.30am, v New Zealand; 3.45pm, v South Africa

Thursday, September 21 – 12.15pm, v Australia

Friday, September 22 – 1.30pm, semi-final

Saturday, September 23 – 1pm, grand final