Exclusive: UAE's Rohan Mustafa dedicates ICC top 10 ranking to his late father

UAE cricketer Rohan Mustafa. (Facebook)
UAE cricketer Rohan Mustafa. (Facebook)

For a man who lost his father at a young age, Mustafa has now become the first UAE cricketer to break into the top 10 of the ICC world rankings



by

Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Thu 17 Feb 2022, 7:40 PM

UAE off-spinner Rohan Mustafa was elated after finding his name among the world’s top 10 all-rounders in the latest ICC rankings.

The 33-year-old Mustafa jumped to the seventh place in the ICC T20 rankings for the all-rounders on the back of his consistent performances in recent matches for the UAE.

Mustafa’s remarkable rise in the global rankings is a big boost for the team ahead of their 2022 ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier which will be played in Oman from February 18 to February 24.

“It’s a great feeling. Earning a place in the top 10 world rankings gives me big confidence to take more responsibility and do well in the qualifiers for the team,” Mustafa told Khaleej Times on Thursday.

With 122 runs and three wickets from three matches, Mustafa was the star performer as the UAE took the top honours in the recent T20I Quadrangular series, beating Nepal and Ireland before losing to hosts Oman.

“The team is in a good position. We have done well in the (2023) World Cup (50 overs) qualifiers, we won two games and tied one (against Oman). The performance from the team was very good. I believe we will do well in the next qualifiers as well,” he said ahead of the UAE’s 2022 ICC T20 World Cup qualifying campaign against Bahrain, Germany, and Ireland.

Having made his international debut in 2014, the Pakistan-born Mustafa is now a UAE veteran who hopes his place in the ICC top 10 rankings will inspire the young cricketers in the country.

“It’s a big achievement to be among the 10 all-rounders in the ICC world rankings. If you come from an associate country, it’s quite hard to be on that list. I think there are a lot of cricketers who can achieve these things in future as well. I always support the youngsters. I enjoy playing with them and training with them on the ground and sharing my experience with them,” he said.

The UAE youngsters will certainly be inspired by Mustafa’s unflinching spirit.

For a man who lost his father at a young age, Mustafa has now become the first UAE cricketer to break into the top 10 of the ICC world rankings.

“Back in 2002 after I lost my father, my family moved back to Pakistan. My mother and sister now live in Pakistan, but my brother relocated to Chile. So it’s quite tough for me to be in the UAE. But the love for cricket was in my blood because my father loved cricket. He was such a big cricket fan,” he said.

“So that was a big motivation for me. After I lost my father, I promised to myself that I have to become a good cricketer to make him proud. So the top 10 ranking, this one is for him.”


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