UAE stars from DP World ILT20 help national side qualify for Asia Cup 2025

UAE stars from DP World ILT20 help national side qualify for Asia Cup 2025
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Skipper Mohammed Waseem, batter Alishan Sharafu, pacer Junaid Siddique and other cricketers have expressed their joy for playing a major role in the UAE’s cricket team qualifying for the 2025 Asia Cup after nine long years. (Supplied)
UAE stars from DP World ILT20 help national side qualify for Asia Cup 2025
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Skipper Mohammed Waseem, batter Alishan Sharafu, pacer Junaid Siddique and other cricketers have expressed their joy for playing a major role in the UAE’s cricket team qualifying for the 2025 Asia Cup after nine long years. (Supplied)
UAE stars from DP World ILT20 help national side qualify for Asia Cup 2025
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Skipper Mohammed Waseem, batter Alishan Sharafu, pacer Junaid Siddique and other cricketers have expressed their joy for playing a major role in the UAE’s cricket team qualifying for the 2025 Asia Cup after nine long years. (Supplied)
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Updated 27 April 2024
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UAE stars from DP World ILT20 help national side qualify for Asia Cup 2025

UAE stars from DP World ILT20 help national side qualify for Asia Cup 2025
  • The UAE team’s captain Mohammed Waseem expressed that the exposure they gained during the DP World ILT20 was instrumental in their performance
  • Batter Alishan Sharafu, 21, said: "This was a fantastic team effort, and I am happy I could contribute with the bat”

DUBAI: Skipper Mohammed Waseem, batter Alishan Sharafu, pacer Junaid Siddique and other cricketers have expressed their joy for playing a major role in the UAE’s cricket team qualifying for the 2025 Asia Cup after nine long years.

The UAE team’s captain and skipper Waseem expressed that the exposure they gained during the DP World ILT20 was instrumental in their performance. “It feels incredible to make the Asia Cup,” he commented.

Meanwhile, young batter Sharafu, 21, said: "This was a fantastic team effort, and I am happy I could contribute with the bat.”

Pacer Siddique was “really happy I could do well for the team” and said: “I look forward to more such performances.”

The UAE cricket team qualified after nine long years for the 2025 Asia Cup tournament following a 55-run win over Oman in the ACC Men’s Premier Cup final on Sunday.

Their victory was backed by performances from Waseem as well as Sharafu before pacer Siddique, in the company of Aayan Afzal Khan, led the bowling attack to help UAE win the final. 

Waseem scored 56-ball-century and was well supported by his opening partner Sharafu who contributed 34 to their opening stand of 94 runs.

After putting up 204 on the board, Siddique picked up three wickets for 38 runs in his four overs while Khan finished with figures of two for 29 to restrict Oman to 149-9 in their 20 overs, as they went on to avenge their defeat to Oman earlier in the tournament.

Sharafu, who ended up as the highest run getter of the tournament with 278 runs in six innings, continued his fine form from the DP World ILT20 earlier this year where he played an important role in Sharjah Warriors’ qualification into the play-offs.

Striking at 163.52, with a top score of 90* in UAE’s first game against Kuwait, Sharafu made full use of his opportunity with the UAE senior team to leave a mark at the international level during the ACC Premier Cup and help his team seal a spot in the 2025 Asia Cup.

"I was carrying a lot of confidence from my stint in the DP World ILT20 where I bat against some of the best bowlers in world cricket," said Sharafu.  

According to the 21-year-old the exposure was instrumental, and they have been doing well under their new coach Lalchand Rajput.

Waseem ended the ACC Premier Cup just nine runs behind his opening partner, leading his team by example.

It hasn’t been too long since Waseem lit up the DP World ILT20 2024, where he set the tone at the top for his team, the MI Emirates, who won the championship.

“Playing alongside the best cricketers in the world is a big factor in improving our individual performances as well as a team. I think we are adapting to playing under pressure very well after our experience in these leagues," said Waseem.  

A 24-ball-43 in the DP World ILT20 Final against Dubai Capitals earlier this year and now a century while steering his team to a huge total in the ACC Premier Cup Final proved that Waseem is a big-match player.

"This is the first time in nearly a decade that UAE will be playing this prestigious tournament, and the team is ecstatic," added the 30-year-old.

Impressive at the ACC Premier Cup was another youngster who turned heads at the DP World ILT20 2024 while representing the Gulf Giants. Left-arm spinner Khan continued to spin webs around the batters as he consistently picked up wickets for the UAE senior team including figures of two for 29 in the all-important final against Oman.

With ten wickets in six innings, Aayan picked up ten wickets to finish as his team’s highest wicket taker as well as the second highest wicket taker of the tournament overall.

"I have gained a lot of confidence after my recent experience at the DP World ILT20 where I got to watch and learn from some of the best bowlers in the world. For a youngster like me, exposure like this definitely helps in improving my own performance," said Khan. 

Meanwhile, Siddique picked up six wickets in the five games he played for UAE and was their best bowler in the ACC Premier Cup final.

"Though I did not get too many matches at the DP World ILT20 this year, sharing the dressing room with some of the cricket greats and watching them closely did help me. I am motivated even more to perform well for UAE and showcase my potential," Siddique said. 
 


New ‘Legends’ cricket tourney to bring back classic bowl-out format

New ‘Legends’ cricket tourney to bring back classic bowl-out format
Updated 22 sec ago
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New ‘Legends’ cricket tourney to bring back classic bowl-out format

New ‘Legends’ cricket tourney to bring back classic bowl-out format
  • Broadcaster Mandira Bedi will host event from July 3-13, featuring top former international players

NEW DELHI: The new World Championship of Legends cricket tournament taking place in the UK from July 3 to 13 will bring back the classic bowl-out format reminiscent of early 20-over games.

The tournament takes place at the grounds of Edgbaston and Northamptonshire County Cricket Club in the UK.

The WCL, co-owned by Bollywood icon Ajay Devgn, will feature some of the game’s top former international players.

The decision to adopt the bowl-out method for resolving tied matches harks back to the early days of T20 cricket. This format, where bowlers try to hit the stumps unguarded by a batter, is aimed at making games more exciting for fans.

Harshit Tomar, co-owner of the WCL, said recently that the 2007 game between India and Pakistan, where the format was used, remained one of his “favorite memories, hence we want to revive it and keep it very original.”

Popular television presenter and actress Mandira Bedi will host the event.


Rohit stars as India beat Australia to reach T20 World Cup semifinals

Rohit stars as India beat Australia to reach T20 World Cup semifinals
Updated 24 June 2024
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Rohit stars as India beat Australia to reach T20 World Cup semifinals

Rohit stars as India beat Australia to reach T20 World Cup semifinals
  • India captain’s dashing innings — he faced just 41 balls, including seven fours and eight sixes — was the cornerstone of a total of 205-5
  • Australia eventually finished their reply on 181-7, with left-arm quick Arshdeep Singh taking 3-37

GROS-ISLET, Saint Lucia: Rohit Sharma led from the front with a blistering 92 as India beat Australia by 24 runs in St. Lucia on Monday to seal their place in the semifinals of the T20 World Cup.
The India captain’s dashing innings — he faced just 41 balls, including seven fours and eight sixes — was the cornerstone of a total of 205-5 made after he lost the toss.
Australia eventually finished their reply on 181-7, with left-arm quick Arshdeep Singh taking 3-37.
India will now face defending champions England in Thursday’s semifinal in Guyana.
Defeat meant Australia’s fate was no longer in their own hands.
Afghanistan, who produced a stunning upset in beating Australia by 21 runs last time out, will qualify for the semifinals if they defeat Bangladesh later Monday in the concluding Group One game of the Super Eights.
Australia lost David Warner for just six when the veteran left-handed opener was undone by a full-length delivery from Arshdeep that he could only edge to Suryakumar Yadav at slip.
Travis Head, whose superb century crushed Indian dreams of a 50-over World Cup final win on home soil last year, kept Australia in the hunt with a well-made 76 off 43 balls.
His second-wicket stand of 81 with skipper Mitchell Marsh looked to be turning the tide.
But Marsh was brilliantly caught one-handed on the boundary by a leaping Axar Patel off Kuldeep Yadav for 37.
Left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep then bowled dangerman Glenn Maxwell for 20 with a superb ‘wrong-un’ on his way to fine figures of 2-24 in his maximum four overs.
And when Head holed out off a superbly-disguised slower ball from paceman Jasprit Bumrah, Australia were all but beaten at 150-5 in the 17th over.
Earlier, India star batsman Virat Kohli holed out for a five-ball duck off Josh Hazlewood, with Tim David taking a fine running catch over his shoulder.
But fellow opener Rohit then cut loose. He was particularly severe on Mitchell Starc, the only change to the Australia team following their upset defeat by Afghanistan.
He hit the left-arm fast bowler for 29 runs in a third over where he struck four sixes — two in successive balls over extra-cover, a monster hit over deep midwicket and a top-edged full toss over the wicketkeeper.
But with Rohit threatening the first hundred of this tournament, Starc bowled him with an excellent yorker.


Jordan, Buttler star as England thrash USA to reach T20 World Cup semifinals

Jordan, Buttler star as England thrash USA to reach T20 World Cup semifinals
Updated 23 June 2024
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Jordan, Buttler star as England thrash USA to reach T20 World Cup semifinals

Jordan, Buttler star as England thrash USA to reach T20 World Cup semifinals
  • By winning so quickly, England secured a place in the last four, regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s final Group Two Super Eights match

BRIDGETOWN: Chris Jordan took four wickets in five balls, including the third hat-trick of the T20 World Cup, as defending champions England qualified for the semifinals with a 10-wicket thrashing of the United States in his native Barbados on Sunday.
The 35-year-old all-rounder, born and educated on the Caribbean island, justified his recall for this match in spectacular fashion with the remarkable figures of 4-10 in 2.5 overs as the United States were dismissed for 115.
England captain Jos Buttler then led from the front in a blistering chase with an unbeaten 83, featuring five sixes in an over from Harmeet Singh, as his side raced to their target in a mere 9.4 overs.
By winning so quickly, England secured a place in the last four, regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s final Group Two Super Eights match between co-hosts the West Indies and South Africa in Antigua and any associated net run-rate calculations.
Buttler faced just 38 balls, including six fours and seven sixes, but the day belonged to Jordan, whose hat-trick was the third of this tournament, with Australia’s Pat Cummins achieving the feat against both Bangladesh and Afghanistan, and the first by an England bowler in any men’s T20 international.
“Unbelievable feeling, more importantly to restrict USA and to do it in a special place like this is always nice,” said Jordan.
“Been on a hat-trick a few times, nice to get it on target this time.”
Buttler added: “I wanted to bring CJ back in to add a little bit of depth to the batting and we know what he is capable of with the ball. He executed it fantastically well, and a World Cup hat-trick is a great effort.”
As for his own form, Buttler said: “Personally it’s really important I continue this into the semifinals. I have been feeling good all year, I feel I am hitting the ball well and it is nice to get that confidence.”
The United States, one of the surprise packages of the event after defeating Pakistan on their way to the second round, were 115-6 when Jordan came onto bowl the 19th over.
His first ball of the over saw Corey Anderson hit a fast and low full toss to Harry Brook at long-on as the former New Zealand all-rounder fell for 29.
Two balls later, paceman Jordan clean bowled Ali Khan for a duck, the off-stump knocked out of the ground.
Next ball Nosthush Kenjige was plumb lbw and Jordan then completed his hat-trick — and ended the innings — by bowling Saurabh Netravalkar between bat and pad to remove the last man’s middle stump.
The United States were relatively well-placed at 48-2 at the end of the six-over powerplay.
But leg-spinner Adil Rashid then bowled two excellent googlies to dismiss Aaron Jones and Nitish Kumar, whose 30 was the highest score of the innings, in a miserly haul of 2-13.
England started their reply knowing victory in 17.4 overs would see them advance to the semifinals regardless of events elsewhere.
Buttler signalled his intentions early on with an extraordinary 104-meter six before Mumbai-born left-arm spinner Singh then felt the full force of his bat.
England must now wait another 24 hours to discover the identity of their semifinal opponents.


How Pakistan’s new cricket coaches can approach tough tasks ahead

How Pakistan’s new cricket coaches can approach tough tasks ahead
Updated 23 June 2024
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How Pakistan’s new cricket coaches can approach tough tasks ahead

How Pakistan’s new cricket coaches can approach tough tasks ahead
  • Despite the team’s failure to progress to the Super 8s of the 2024 T20 World Cup, there could be reasons to be optimistic

NEW YORK: How many times have we heard the words inconsistent, unpredictable and chaotic used to describe the Pakistan men’s cricket team’s performances over the years?

The answer is numerous, although usually the description is followed by the qualification that the team are at their most dangerous when in that state.

In the wake of the team’s failure to progress to the Super 8s stage of the 2024 T20 World Cup, the mood is different and much darker.

Inconsistency, unpredictability and chaos did not translate into becoming a dangerous opponent. Nor should it, because it is much more likely that a team characterized as consistent, hardworking and united will perform best.

In my view, it is time for those involved in Pakistan’s cricket world to step away from the myth surrounding what it takes to galvanize the team. In its place ought to be a realization that the raw talent that once helped them produce magical moments is not being harnessed properly and that teams in other countries have adopted a more adventurous style of playing cricket.

The big question is how can Pakistan achieve such a transformation? There is nothing new about the current environment. Issues with chairmen and selection have abounded over the years, leading to accusations of nepotism and favoritism. However, I believe that there is reason to be hopeful.

The two new coaches, Gary Kirsten for white ball cricket and Jason Gillespie for red ball, are in positions which allow them to make decisions which are likely to be backed unconditionally by the hierarchy, even if it is just to save face for themselves.

Hopefully, the coaches will take full advantage of this opportunity to set their paths immediately. It is not an understatement to suggest that they are set for the hardest task of their careers. I was coached by Gillespie at Yorkshire and know his style is to be calm, which will be of help in this task. He prefers to let players lead while occupying a supporting act. From a distance, Kirsten seems to have a similar style, evidenced by his time with India in winning the 2011 World Cup under MS Dhoni’s captaincy.

Anyone who has followed the men in green will be very aware of all the issues with the team environment, so those must be addressed first. It is a very insecure one with a lot of noise.

Personally, I would not have chosen the two-coach policy. These players need simple and consistent messaging to be able to go out and express themselves. However, given that two coaches are in place, it will be especially important for them to work together and build a trusted backroom staff body which is the same across the formats. Time is of the essence to put this in place as pressure to improve both team and individual performances will build quickly. In my view, the environment needs freshening and unnecessary baggage which has built up over the last couple of years needs removing.

One of the most difficult and contentious issues is that of the captaincy. In the current situation, I would play down the power and importance of the captain. This goes against my natural grain but, for the immediate future, the coach needs to be the figurehead and lead. Obviously, there still needs to be a captain, ideally across formats, so as to reduce noise and deliver one simple message. Pakistan’s next white ball match is not until early November in Australia, so there is no need for immediate action. However, there are two Tests with Bangladesh to be hosted in August. Shan Masood is the current captain.

Another contentious issue is the selection process and, within it, the role of Wahab Riaz. It was only on Mar. 24 that the current seven-member selection committee was established. This included Riaz, who had previously acted as chair, but that title was removed, Riaz remaining as a committee member. Somewhat impracticably, each member carried an equal vote from which a majority decision would be formed. How this works in practice is unclear.

In my view, the experiment should be ditched, with the coaches having the final say in a reduced committee. Riaz, who is believed to be close to the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) chair, was senior team manager during the World Cup, despite there being a team manager and a coach! There is a public perception that Riaz appears to wield too much influence. It remains to be seen if the review of Pakistan’s World Cup performance will recommend that it is reduced. The results are expected shortly.

The first requirement for team selection will come with the Bangladesh Tests. Gillespie will oversee a training camp ahead of these matches to prepare both the national and A teams. He has already said that “we can’t rely on the same 11 players to play day in and day out. We need to make sure that we’ve got a squad mentality.”

Surprisingly, the talent pool appears to be small with a lack of ready-made replacements in some positions, so there is a need to identify and back those with the necessary character and skill. One of the options is Mohammad Haris. He has the modern-day approach which surely needs to be injected into the team’s approach and pursued all the way to the next T20 World Cup. Irfan Khan Niazi is another young dynamo who could grow into a good finisher, whilst investment in batter Omair Yousuf could prove beneficial.

In the fast-bowling department, Shaheen Shah Afridi needs the necessary support to return to basics and improve his performance. In my view, he would be advised to forget about the captaincy to concentrate on taking wickets and being a match winner. Naseem Shah needs protection and support as he appears to be on the right path to being world class. I expect Gillespie to provide those levels of support for both players.

Leg-spinner Usama Mir would have been in my World Cup squad, whilst Mehran Mumtaz has the ability to be the all-format No. 1 spinner. Shadab Khan needs time to rediscover his bowling skills. He has been brilliant as a batter for Islamabad but that seems to have skewed his thought processes in international cricket. He has succeeded before and I have no doubt he will again, but he is another who needs to go back to basics.

My suggested change in approach for both coaches may not be very natural for either man. Both prefer to have a strong captain who takes the lead while they create an environment which encourages the players to make their own decisions.

In the short term, my view is that the coaches need to lead from the front, dealing with the noise and protecting their players from the inevitable attacks by ex-players, pundits and fans. Internally, they are advised to set out clear expectations. The team must become the priority in what is an insecure culture which makes the players think more about personal performances.

The two men need to settle the players in their minds through a combination of hand holding and tough love. Hopefully, a period of calm and support will create a better environment for success.


India makes 196 and beats Bangladesh by 50 at Twenty20 World Cup

India makes 196 and beats Bangladesh by 50 at Twenty20 World Cup
Updated 23 June 2024
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India makes 196 and beats Bangladesh by 50 at Twenty20 World Cup

India makes 196 and beats Bangladesh by 50 at Twenty20 World Cup
  • Put into bat, India started quick as captain Rohit Sharma scored 23 off 11 balls
  • Virat Kohli added 37 off 28, hitting three sixes

NORTH SOUND, Antigua: Hardik Pandya blasted Bangladesh with a 27-ball half-century and Kuldeep Yadav’s three wickets finished off India’s win at the Twenty20 World Cup on Saturday.
Pandya struck four boundaries and three sixes in an unbeaten 50 to lead India to 196-5.
Yadav then took 3-19 in four overs to limit Bangladesh to 146-8.
India moved to the top of Group 1 in the Super Eight with two wins from two matches. Bangladesh was winless.
Put into bat, India started quick as captain Rohit Sharma scored 23 off 11 balls. Virat Kohli added 37 off 28, hitting three sixes. The duo put on 39 off 22 balls for India’s best opening stand in the tournament.
Sharma was caught in the fourth over off Shakib al Hasan, while Kohli put on another 32 off 27 balls with Rishabh Pant for the second wicket.
Tanzim Hasan Sakib struck twice in the ninth over, getting Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav for 6 as India slumped to 77-3.
But Rishabh Pant anchored one end with 36 off 24, including four fours and two sixes, putting on 31 off 19 balls with Shivam Dube.
Despite Pant’s dismissal in the 12th over, Dube’s prowess against spin came in handy — he hit three sixes, scoring 34 off 24 balls.
But it was Pandya who took charge in the death overs. India scored 62 runs in the last five overs.
Pandya was named player of the match.
“We have played some really good cricket (to win five straight games),” he said. “We have executed our plans well, but as a group we can still improve. We sometimes lose wickets in a bunch, but apart from that things are looking good.”
Bangladesh’s reply made a steady start. Openers Litton Das (13) and Tanzid Hasan (29) added 35 off 27 until Pandya got the breakthrough in the fifth over.
The Tigers were at 66-2 in the 10th over and scoring slower. The chase unraveled when Yadav came on to bowl. He trapped Hasan lbw, and dismissed Towhid Hridoy for 4 and claimed the big wicket of Shakib for 11.
Bangladesh lost three wickets for 32 runs across 24 balls and didn’t recover.
Pace bowlers Jasprit Bumrah (2-13) and Arshdeep Singh (2-30) helped to seal India’s fifth win over Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup.