UAE ready to step in if Zimbabwe loses out on hosting World Cup Qualifier
UAE recently beat Zimbabwe A at the ICC Academy.
Updated - Nov 18, 2017 2:10 am
The UAE cricket officials have shown their willingness on hosting World Cup Qualifier in March next year, if the International Cricket Council (ICC) decides to move the tournament out of Zimbabwe. It was earlier reported that the clash to decide the final two teams for the 2019 World Cup would be played in Zimbabwe. Due to the Pakistan Super League fixtures, it wasn’t possible for the Emirates Cricket Board to host the event.
Ireland and Scotland had also expressed their interest in hosting the qualifiers. With Zimbabwe President Mugabe being restricted to his Harare residence, there are possible chances of unrest in the country and therefore the game can get effected. The ICC is yet to take a call, on previous occasions, many cricket playing countries had opted out from playing in Zimbabwe.
UAE would like to step in
Will Kitchen, the general manager at the ICC Academy in Dubai, said that UAE would like to step in if require. “If at any point there is an opportunity for us to host international cricket, and assuming there is a willingness and need to, we would love to,” Kitchen said. “That is what these venues were built for, and we would take that opportunity, assuming that was what was required.”
Back in the year 2009, the qualifier was scheduled to take place in UAE, but due to delays in the construction of Dubai Sports City, the event was shifted to South Africa. The UAE have now turned out to be one of the major venues, with Test nations such as West Indies and Zimbabwe playing, apart from Afghanistan and Ireland’s announced fixtures for next year.
UAE have been doing well as they beat Zimbabwe A by 77 runs at the ICC Academy recently. Their record in the series reads 4-0 so far. Four UAE batsmen scored fifties against Zimbabwe while Zahoor Khan bagged five wickets. “What we have tried to do by increasing the size of the player pool is to create some healthy competition,” Dougie Brown, the UAE coach, said. We have worked unbelievably hard to try to create the right type of environment. We want to make sure we support each other and play as a very strong team.”