x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

UAE has always been close to Mushtaq's heart

The diminutive Mushtaq Ahmed looked back fondly at the start of his international career which started in Sharjah two decades ago.

ABU DHABI // The diminutive Mushtaq Ahmed looked back fondly at the start of his international career - a shock call-up to the one-day team against Sri Lanka in Sharjah two decades ago. "The UAE has always been close to my heart since that day" he said, after making 68 more appearances and representing his country in 116 Test matches between 1990 and 2003. "I never thought that I was going to be picked for Pakistan and suddenly the door opened for me at the age of 19 when Imran Khan, the captain at the time, told me he wanted to award me a cap. It was a fantastic moment for me."

He relived that moment yesterday and was happy to see his compatriots back in action after a long layoff. "At least Pakistan are playing international cricket again. "They still have talented team and I still think they can be a dangerous team whoever they are up against." wjohnson@thenational.ae