Don't lose heart, reaching final is a great achievement, Jaffer tells UAE boys

They beat the tournament favourite Pakistan. They played with a lot of heart and a lot of passion, said Jaffer after UAE's defeat in U19 Asia Cup final

by

Rituraj Borkakoty

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UAE batter Dhruv Parashar takes a selfie with fans after the final. — Rituraj Borkakoty
UAE batter Dhruv Parashar takes a selfie with fans after the final. — Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Mon 18 Dec 2023, 1:08 AM

Last updated: Mon 18 Dec 2023, 12:46 PM

Wasim Jaffer, a former Indian opening batsman and the batting consultant of the Bangladesh team at the Under 19 Asia Cup, says the UAE should be proud of their young cricket team despite their final heartbreak.

The UAE (87 all out) suffered a stunning batting collapse in the final against Bangladesh after the team hit global headlines with stirring wins over Pakistan (semifinals) and Sri Lanka (group stages), both Test-playing teams.

“I don’t think they need to lose heart, they achieved a lot more than they were expected to,” Jaffer told the Khaleej Times.

“I think reaching the final is a great achievement, they have beaten Sri Lanka. Then they beat the tournament favourite Pakistan. They played with a lot of heart and a lot of passion.”

Jaffer backed the UAE boys for even bigger things in future.

“They don’t have the same exposure of playing top teams regularly unlike teams like Bangladesh. So for them to compete like that and get into the final, I thought was a massive achievement,” he said.

“I think it will give them a lot of confidence. I know a lot of these under 19 boys are already in the senior team. They have got a lot of potential. I think this experience will help them, playing against good teams, good players and continuously playing stronger teams, I think this will benefit them.”

Jaffer then named the UAE players who impressed him with their skills and temperament in the tournament.

“Their captain Aayan Afzal Khan bowls a very good line and length. He had a very good tournament. Then among the batsmen, I think Tanish Suri looks a very good player,” he said.

“I liked his technique as well as his stroke-making ability. He didn’t fire in one or two important games, but I still feel he has got a lot of potential.

“Maroof Merchant also batted well, unfortunately, he missed the final due to injury. But I think he is a very good player too!”

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