x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Khurram Khan not thinking about cricket 2015 World Cup qualification

The captain of the UAE team senses confidence in his side ahead of their meeting with Canada in the first of the two 50-over-a-side games at the World Cricket League Championship.

The UAE captain Khurram Khan, seen here batting for the UAE against Ireland in Sharjah in March, says his side will go into their 50-over match with 'the usual winning mentality.' Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
The UAE captain Khurram Khan, seen here batting for the UAE against Ireland in Sharjah in March, says his side will go into their 50-over match with 'the usual winning mentality.' Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
The captain of the UAE team senses confidence in his side ahead of their meeting with Canada in the first of the two 50-over-a-side games tonight at the World Cricket League Championship (WCL).
Khurram Khan led a fantastic rearguard action by scoring an unbeaten century to salvage a draw against the hosts in the four-day Intercontinental Cup and believes that the last day's performance has built a solid platform for the remaining games on the tour.
"It was not only my inning, but a few others chipped in with some valuable contributions to save the game, which I believe was due to the teamwork," he said.
"Surely, we can take those positives forward to try and win all the games. I still feel we travelled with a good side and hopefully return with our objectives fulfilled."
Canada took first-inning points in the four-day game, yet they remain at the bottom, while the UAE picked up enough points from the draw to move up one place, dislodging the Netherlands from sixth spot in the eight-team Intercontinental Cup table.
"Playing the four-day game first provided our players the opportunity to get a feel of the playing conditions and adapt, which was evident in the last day," Khurram said. "Our players are also more familiar with the shorter format. We have high regards for all opponents, but we will go into every game with the usual winning mentality."
Victories in the two WCL games would keep the UAE's hopes alive for one of the two automatic qualifications for the 2015 World Cup, behind Ireland, who finished top of the table.
However, the captain is not looking beyond the two matches in Canada.
"The qualification from the WCL is a bit complicated, as four teams are battling for the remaining one ticket and a lot will depend on the outcome of the others games," he said. "As such, we will not be thinking of qualification, but it is important we win every game we play.
"Our focus for now is on the first game. Canada proved how strong they are on their home conditions and grounds, and we expect another strong game from them."
The UAE are likely to make a few changes from their four-day game.
"We will be playing on a different surface, so the team will be decided after having a look at the strip," said Khurram.
The UAE are fifth on 10 points but only five points separate four teams - the Netherlands, Scotland, Afghanistan and the UAE - battling for the second spot in the WCL.
However, the bottom six teams from the WCL will receive a second chance to qualify at next year's ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand, when they lock horns with Hong Kong, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Uganda for the final two spots in the 2015 World Cup.
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