x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Tauqir left out of the qualifiers

The Emirati cricketer Mohammed Tauqir will miss helping the UAE try to qualify for the World Cup because of the worldwide recession.

DUBAI // The Emirati cricketer Mohammed Tauqir will miss helping the UAE try to qualify for the World Cup because of the worldwide recession. Tauqir, the country's longest serving player, was a surprise absentee when the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) named their squad for the ICC World Cup qualifying tournament in South Africa next month. As a relationships manager for Barclays Bank, Tauqir has had his focus shifted from the cricket field due to the economic slowdown.

"For the time being, I am not focused at all on cricket," said Tauqir, 37. "I have not been to one training session and could not commit any time to the game. "Cricket demands a lot of time, and it is not really possible for me to give that because of these tough market conditions. "Working in wealth management and trying to bring investors in, I can't take a month and a half off to play cricket. Then the targets I have to hit within 12 months have to be made within 10 or 11. We are amateur cricketers in the UAE, not professionals. I think it is more important to support my family."

Tauqir's withdrawal means the team are again now almost entirely peopled by expatriates. The ECB implemented a four-player quota system for Emiratis ahead of the Asia Cup in Pakistan last year, but it has since been aborted. @Email:pradley@thenational.ae