Ahmed Raza sacked as UAE's T20I captain days before Asia Cup Qualifiers

The captaincy has been handed to CP Rizwan in T20Is, while Raza remains as the ODI captain.

Ahmed Raza
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Ahmed Raza. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Ahmed Raza has been sacked as UAE’s T20I captain only three days ahead of the Asia Cup Qualifier in Oman. The move came following the Cricket World Cup League 2 tri-series in Scotland, and the captaincy has now been handed to CP Rizwan. Raza, however, will remain the captain in the ODIs.

The board expressed its inclination to have split captaincy in white-ball cricket. The body believes that it creates strong leadership and encourages focus and commitment to each format. The board further stated that the decision came at the right time to evaluate what is best for the T20Is moving into the T20 World Cup.

“The committee believes, after extensive discussions, and following a detailed review of the side’s recent 50-over performance, by providing the respective captains with a sole-format-focus,” the Emirates Cricket Board was quoted as saying on the ICC website. “It creates a strong leadership succession plan, and encourages a singular commitment to fine-tuning strategic on-field components of the game.”

A solid opportunity to consider and open up all options: Emirates Cricket Board

“UAE’s T20 game is in good standing and has exceptional depth. This strategy comes at the optimal time to assess what is best for this format moving into the (ICC T20) World Cup and beyond. UAE’s high-performance unit believes this presents a solid opportunity to consider and open up all options – player make-up and Captaincy – to take the game forward,” the Emirati board further stated.

The decision also comes at a jarring time, with the T20 World Cup being just a couple of months away. However, Rizwan is the man trusted for the “succession plan”. UAE’s previous match against USA was abandoned in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 on August 16, Tuesday. 

With 12 wins and 11 losses in 26 games, they currently stand fourth in the league table under Oman, Scotland and USA. UAE will be next in action in the T20 Asia Cup Qualifier to face Kuwait on August 21.