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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

World Cricket League Division 2: Fixtures and team-by-team guide

Paul Radley breaks down who the UAE will need to overcome to reach the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe

Ghulam Shabber of UAE playing a shot during the one day international cricket match against Ireland at the ICC Academy in Dubai Sports City in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National
Ghulam Shabber of UAE playing a shot during the one day international cricket match against Ireland at the ICC Academy in Dubai Sports City in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

World Cricket League Division 2

In Windhoek, Namibia

Top two teams qualify for the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe, which starts on March 4

UAE fixtures

  • 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

UAE squad

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

The teams

Canada

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.

Roy Cooper / The National
Roy Cooper / The National

Kenya

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.

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Namibia

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.

Dougie Brown, the UAE coach, was in charge of Namibia the only time they qualified for the World Cup, in 2003. Pawan Singh / The National
Dougie Brown, the UAE coach, was in charge of Namibia the only time they qualified for the World Cup, in 2003. Pawan Singh / The National

Nepal

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.

Sandeep Lamichhane, right, spent time with Michael Clarke during his development as a player. Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images
Sandeep Lamichhane, right, spent time with Michael Clarke during his development as a player. Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images

Oman

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.

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UAE

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.