Henry Blofeld defends UAE "national" team

Henry Blofeld defends UAE "national" team

Post by Vicky B. Vigneswar » Sat, 16 Apr 1994 04:56:51

Emirates to have taste of the high life

By Henry Blofeld

The Australasia Cup, which begins in Sharjah today, gives the Un-
ited Arab Emirates, who won the recent ICC Trophy in Kenya, their
first chance to play one-day cricket in open competition  at  the
highest level of the game.

The other five competing  countries  are  India,  Pakistan,  Aus-
tralia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. The UAE have been drawn in the
same qualifying group as India and Pakistan.

The UAE have been criticised because their side are composed  al-
most entirely of expatriates from the subcontinent. Their side to
play India in today's opening match comprise one Sri Lankan,  two
Indians,  seven  Pakistanis  and  one Arab, Sultan Zarwani, their
captain. Born in Dubai, he has an Arab  father  and  a  Pakistani

ICC regulations stipulate that anyone who plays for the UAE must,
in  each  of  the  last  four years, have spent at least 240 days
within the Emirates.  Immigrants from the subcontinent have  made
their  lives  in the Emirates just as a great many people of West
Indian extraction have made their lives in Great  Britain  and  a
few now play for England.

International cricket was introduced to Sharjah 13 years ago  be-
cause  of  the  wealth and enthusiasm of Abdulrehman Bukhatir, an
Arab who learned to love the game during  his  years  at  Karachi
University. It is all, therefore, Arab-inspired.

The UAE won the ICC Trophy in style and there  is  a  flamboyance
about  their  cricket  matched by their captain's new yellow Lam-
borghini. So far, the UAE have preferred to chase rather than bat
first. From a brief glimpse in the nets it looks from their bowl-
ing as if they will be chasing a veritable mountain  of  runs  if
they pursue that policy against India and Pakistan.

They will find scoring runs against Test bowlers  and  trying  to
contain  Test  batsmen a rather different proposition. No one ex-
pects immediate surprises but this could be the start of a  jour-
ney which eventually ends in elevation to Test status.

Thanks  ::  The Independent


UMass, Apr 14, 1994