Middle-order batsman CP Rizwan has been named the UAE T20 captain as the Emirates Cricket Board announced the team for the Asia Cup qualifying tournament in Oman.
Rizwan, 34, has replaced left-arm spinner Ahmed Raza as captain in the T20 format, with the latter retaining his captaincy role in the 50 overs format.
The five-day Asia Cup qualifying tournament (August 20-24) will see six teams fight for a place in the tournament proper.
The UAE will battle with Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuwait in Oman with only the top team earning a place in the Asia Cup which will be played in the UAE from August 27 to September 11.
The winner of the qualifying tournament will get into Group A alongside arch-rivals India and Pakistan.
A successful tournament in Oman will earn Rizwan's team a great opportunity to test themselves against big guns India and Pakistan as they continue their preparations for the 2022 T20 World Cup (October 16-November 13) in Australia.
“This is an exceptionally exciting time for UAE cricket. The qualifier is a great opportunity in our quest to compete in the Asia Cup 2022, and play against the best of our game, on home-soil,” said Dr. Tayeb Kamali, Selection Committee Chairman, Emirates Cricket.
“Our players and the coaching team have displayed commendable fortitude in their commitment to their training throughout the UAE summer, and we wish our team the very best as they aim to secure their place in Asia Cup’s Group A.”
Robin Singh, Emirates Cricket’s Director of Cricket and head coach, said the team would draw inspiration from their stunning victory in the T20 World Cup qualifying tournament in Oman earlier this year.
“We have solid experience with the conditions in Oman and our team - players and support - know the areas we need to focus on. Preparations have gone well (and) it will then be up to the team to deliver on the day, and we will not be taking any opposing team lightly – especially in a T20 format,” the former Indian all-rounder said.
The cricket board also announced the team would adopt a two-captain policy in international cricket.
"Emirates Cricket’s selection committee also advised that, commencing with the Asia Cup Qualifier, the role of captaining T20 and ODI (50-over) sides would now be tasked to two persons," the cricket board said in a statement.
The Kerala-born Rizwan, who has played 29 one-day internationals and seven T20 Internationals since making his UAE debut in 2019, is now excepted to lead the country in the T20 World Cup later this year.
Raza, 33, will continue to lead the UAE in the 50 overs format as the team aim to qualify for the ODI World Cup next year.
UAE squad for Asia Cup qualifiers
CP Rizwan (centre), Chirag Suri, Muhammad Waseem, Vriitya Aravind, Ahmed Raza, Basil Hameed, Rohan Mustafa, Kashif Daud, Karthik Meiyappan, Zahoor Khan, Zawar Farid, Alishan Sharafu, Sabir Ali, Aryan Lakra, Sultan Ahmad, Junaid Siddique and Fahad Nawaz.
Asia Cup Qualifiers fixtures (UAE Time)
Hong Kong vs Singapore 7:30 pm
Kuwait vs UAE 7:30 pm
Singapore vs UAE 7:30 pm
Hong Kong vs Kuwait 7:30 pm
Kuwait vs Singapore 4:30 pm
Hong Kong vs UAE 7:30 pm
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