UAE bracing up to take on Rashid Khan & co

Dubai: The UAE cricket team are gearing up to tackle the challenge from the Rashid Khan, one of the most promising leg break googly bowlers from Afghanistan.

The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) have announced the UAE team to take on Afghanistan in the upcoming ICC Intercontinental Cup, commencing from November 29 to December 2 at the at the Shaikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi.

Speaking to Gulf News, Rohan Mustafa, skipper of the UAE team, said: “Afghanistan is a strong side but we believe that the only difference will be their star bowler Rashid Khan. We have played them before and hope to produce a good show.”

As preparation for the Inter-continental Cup, the UAE squad has been training hard at the ICC Academy. To get adapted to the longer version of the game, UAE will play two-day warm-up preparation match against Ireland this Friday and Saturday at the ICC Academy.

Rashid Khan is now one of the most sought-after international bowlers after Indian Premier League’s Sunrisers Hyderabad signed him up for $597,000 and has produced brilliant spells in all forms of the game.

The UAE selectors have picked a team based on form. Chirag Suri, who played some good knocks recently and is the UAE’s Indian Premier League player, will open with Mustafa who is consistent with the bat and ball.

Recently, the UAE carries the confidence of having trounced Zimbabwe A by 5-0 in a one day series.

Mohammad Boota, Ashfaq Ahmad, Mohammad Usman and Rameez Shahzad had sparkled against Zimbabwe A.

“We are now playing like a unit and we no longer depend on one player to perform and help us win. Everyone is contributing to the team in different roles and that is the reason behind our recent victories, added Mustafa.

Zayed Abbas, ECB spokesperson, who announced the team said: “Our 2015 — 2017 ICC Intercontinental Cup campaign has provided us with varied fortunes and results. Throughout our campaign we have been very encouraged with our players’ attitude and have thoroughly enjoyed watching them develop their skills and fitness. This is our final match in the tournament’s series and we will aim to post a strong result against Afghanistan.”

The continuous training is also showing on the UAE team. “Our coaching staff, as well as the playershave identified areas they can still improve on, so we look forward to this weekend’s preparation match (against Ireland) to fine-tune and hone these specific areas ahead of our final Intercontinental Cup match.

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