x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Hard work starts now for the new UAE coach Aaqib Javed

Former Pakistan Under 19 coach's portfolio will be to build side for 2014 World Cup. Sports round-up audio

Aaqib Javed, back, takes over the reins with an endorsement from the outgoing coach Kabir Khan.
Aaqib Javed, back, takes over the reins with an endorsement from the outgoing coach Kabir Khan.

Aaqib Javed, the former Pakistan fast bowler and bowling coach, will arrive in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday to take over as the head coach of the UAE team, replacing Kabir Khan.

Javed will have little time to see his new wards before they face Scotland in the ICC World Cricket League Championship on Wednesday and Friday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Scotland return to the limited-over format after a seven-wicket win over the UAE in the four-day Intercontinental Cup last month.

The UAE team have been training without a coach since Khan left immediately after that defeat to take charge of Afghanistan, who are in the UAE for the World Twenty20 qualifier.

Javed was offered the UAE job while he was with the Pakistan team for their home series against England, which consisted of three Tests, four one-day internationals and three Twenty20s, played in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah from January 3 to February 27.

"When Aaqib showed an interest on the UAE job we didn't have to look anywhere else because we knew we had the right man," Dilawar Mani, the chief executive officer of the Emirates Cricket Board, said at the time when the negotiations were taking place.

Javed becomes the most high-profile coach to take charge of the UAE since Madan Lal, the former India all-rounder who took them to their only World Cup in 1996 jointly hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Although possessing an impressive coaching CV and being a member of the World Cup winning team in 1992, Javed has been ignored by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the coaching job with the senior team, which is widely believed to have been the reason for his move.

Mani's answers since the negotiations started during the Pakistan-England series were "it is a sensitive matter when he still holds a job with the PCB" and, more recently, "we will announce his appointment in the coming days in the most appropriate manner".

Kabir, who returned to the UAE with Afghanistan, has also backed his former Pakistan teammate. One of Kabir's wishes would be for Javed to develop his plan of building a strong squad for the Under 19 World Cup which Abu Dhabi will host in 2014.

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Kabir had picked a squad of youngsters to play regularly in the ECB Blues team in tournaments conducted by the cricket councils around the Emirates. The players seem to have come through well from the experience.

Javed is no stranger to the age group set-up. He guided the Pakistan Under 15 team to the Asia Cup in 2002 and won the U19 World Cup two years later.

In all probability, Javed would be expected to share a long partnership with the UAE where the infrastructure for the sport has been on the rise with the new turf grounds at the ICC Global Academy in Dubai and the two turf grounds in Abu Dhabi, one of which is now complete.

Javed's only snag would seem to be getting the administration in the country to work on a plan that would enable his amateur players to spend more time on their game.

 

apassela@thenational.ae