x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Khurram predicts close race in World T20 Qualifier

Khurram Khan, the UAE captain, is already dreaming of playing in Bangladesh in next year’s ICC World Twenty20 Cup.

The UAE captain Khurram Khan. Jeff Topping / For The National
The UAE captain Khurram Khan. Jeff Topping / For The National

Khurram Khan, the UAE captain, is already dreaming of playing in Bangladesh in next year’s ICC World Twenty20 Cup.

Fifteen teams will arrive in the Emirates this week to join the hosts in the World T20 Qualifier, which runs from November 15 to 30.

The tournament, which offers six qualifying spots in the World T20 field, will be played across six venues in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

The UAE are in Group A, with Ireland, Namibia, Canada, Uganda, United States, Italy and Hong Kong.

“It would be a dream come true to qualify for the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next year,” Khurram said.

“All the hard work that we have put in would have paid off, and with people’s perception of cricket in the UAE forever changing, it would really be the icing on the cake.”

The UAE have had a busy year preparing for the event.

“We’ve been playing non-stop since we finished our tour of Canada in August,” he said. “We have already started regular sessions in the last four or five months to help us prepare for this tournament.

“We’ve played against all the teams in our group and they know our strengths, and that means I think it will be a close contest.”

Though the UAE would be expected to secure one of the qualifying spots, Khurram thinks the shortest format of the game is the most unpredictable.

“That means you can’t write off any team,” he said. “We simply have to play our best cricket.

“Home conditions may not be as big an advantage for us, as most of the teams, if not all of them, have played here before and know the conditions the UAE has to offer.”

The UAE begin open against Uganda on November 15 at Abu Dhabi Oval 1. The final will be in Dubai on November 30.

apassela@thenational.ae