Paul Radley breaks down who the UAE will need to overcome to reach the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe
World Cricket League Division 2: Fixtures and team-by-team guide
World Cricket League Division 2
In Windhoek, Namibia
Top two teams qualify for the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe, which starts on March 4
- Thursday, February 8, v Kenya
- Friday, February 9, v Canada
- Sunday, February 11, v Nepal
- Monday, February 12, v Oman
- Wednesday, February 14, v Namibia
- Thursday, February 15, final
Rohan Mustafa (captain), Ashfaq Ahmed, Ghulam Shabbir, Rameez Shahzad, Mohammed Boota, Mohammed Usman, Adnan Mufti, Shaiman Anwar, Ahmed Raza, Imran Haider, Qadeer Ahmed, Mohammed Naveed, Amir Hayat, Zahoor Khan
World Cup appearances: 1979, 2003, 2007, 2011
Pedigree: Generally they have just made up the numbers on their four appearances on cricket's biggest stage so far.
But they did have one of the outstanding individual batting displays, when John Davison scored what was then the fastest World Cup century in 2003.
They have struggled to remain competitive since, but earned promotion from WCL Division 3 last May.
World Cup appearances: 1996, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011
Pedigree: Once the role models for countries beyond the Test sphere, Kenya’s decline has been marked.
They made it to the semi-final of the World Cup in South Africa in 2003, taking wins off Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the process.
They missed out on qualification altogether last time round, though, and finished fifth in the World Cricket League.
- Adnan Mufti goes back to Namibia with runs fresh in the memory
- Rameez Shahzad determined to fill his hero Khurram Khan's shoes
World Cup appearances: 2003
Pedigree: That lone outing at the World Cup in 2003 provided a neat double, given that their rugby-playing compatriots also did the same that year, in Australia. Not a bad feat for a country that only had a population of just under 2 million.
One point of local interest from back then: Dougie Brown, who is now the UAE coach, was in charge of Namibia for that tournament.
World Cup appearances: None
Pedigree: A remarkable passion and following for cricket in the Himalayan nation is too often negatively counterbalanced by administrative failings.
To prove the point, the team are chasing a debut World Cup appearance despite the fact Nepal’s board are actually currently suspended by the ICC.
There have been stirrings of achievement on the field, in the form of a World Twenty20 win over Afghanistan in 2014, and Sandeep Lamichhane’s selection for the Indian Premier League.
World Cup appearances: None
Pedigree: Oman cricket has mostly been overshadowed by its neighbours across the border in UAE. They did, however, beat the national team to a place at the World T20 in India in 2016.
Oman acquitted themselves well there, too, beating Ireland in a group-stage thriller.
They have marched through the World Cricket League divisions to reach this point, having started in Division 5.
- Comment: Process is muddled but aim is clear for UAE – to qualify for the 2019 Cricket World Cup
- Brown wants UAE to learn from mistakes in World Cup qualification
World Cup appearances: 1996, 2015
Pedigree: A 19-year gap between trips to 50-over cricket’s flagship event represents underachievement for a country with the best facilities of anyone beyond Test cricket.
Recent times have seen the national team reach new standards, though, most notably since the onset of professional contracts 18 months ago. And a variety of new national team batting and bowling records have been set since Dougie Brown arrived as coach last year.