Waseem hails DP World ILT20 experience for helping UAE to qualify for Asia Cup 2025

After a gap of nine years, the National side will play in the premier T20 tournament scheduled to be jointly hosted by the UAE and Oman

By Team KT

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UAE skipper Muhammad Waseem  has been ain inspiration to his team.. - Supplied phot
UAE skipper Muhammad Waseem has been ain inspiration to his team.. - Supplied phot

Published: Sat 27 Apr 2024, 2:30 PM

Last updated: Sat 27 Apr 2024, 2:31 PM

Skipper Muhammad Waseem has credited the DP World ILT T20 for the positive impact it has had on the UAE team that led them to qualifying for the Asia Cup 2025.

After a long and frustrating gap of nine years the UAE fulfilled their hopes of making it to Asia’s premier six-team T20 tournament following an authoritative 55-run win over Oman in the ACC Men’s T20 Premier Cup final earlier this month.


Their victory was backed by huge performances from Muhammad Waseem and young batter Alishan Sharafu together with bowlers Junaid Siddique and Aayan Afzal Khan.

“It feels incredible to make the Asia Cup. This is the first time in nearly a decade that UAE will be playing this prestigious tournament and the team is ecstatic," said Waseem.


Junaid Siddique is a proven wicket-taker. - Supplied photo
Junaid Siddique is a proven wicket-taker. - Supplied photo

"Definitely the exposure we gained during the DP World ILT20 was instrumental in our performance. Playing alongside the best cricketers in the world is a big factor in improving our individual performances as well as a team.

“I think we are adapting to playing under pressure very well after our experience in these leagues," added Waseem who was the recipient of the Blue Belt awarded to most outstanding player from UAE at the DP World ILT20.

Waseem scored a blistering 56-ball-century and was well supported by his opening partner 21-year-old Alishan Sharafu who contributed 34 to their opening stand of 94 runs.

Young UAE batsman Alishan Sharafu has established himself in the top ranks. - Supplied photo
Young UAE batsman Alishan Sharafu has established himself in the top ranks. - Supplied photo

"This was a fantastic team effort and I am happy I could contribute with the bat,” he said, “I was carrying a lot of confidence from my stint in the DP World ILT20 where I batted against some of the best bowlers in world cricket.

“I think for many of us in the team, this exposure was instrumental and we have been doing well under our new coach Lalchand Rajput,” Sharafu added.

Left-arm spinner Aayan Afzal Khan continues to spin webs around the rival batters and his performances were prominent in UAE’s confirmation of a spot in the 2025 Asia Cup.

"I have gained a lot of confidence after my recent experience at the DP World ILT20 where I got to watch and learn from some of the best bowlers in the world,” said Aayan.

The Asia Cup. - Instagram
The Asia Cup. - Instagram

“For a youngster like me, exposure like this definitely helps in improving my own performance. I am very happy that I was able to contribute to my team's success in ACC Premier Cup and we are now looking forward to a good show in Asia Cup.”

Junaid Siddique picked up six wickets in the five games he played for UAE and was their best bowler in the ACC Premier Cup final. Although the pacer did not get too much playing time in the DP World ILT20 2024 for the Sharjah Warriors, the opportunity to share the dressing room with international stars like Chris Woakes and Daniel Sams provided him with the much-needed experience that was there for everyone to see in the ACC Premier Cup final.

"Though I did not get too many matches at the DP World ILT20 this year, sharing the dressing room with some of the cricket greats and watching them closely did help me,” he said.

“I am motivated even more to perform well for UAE and showcase my potential. I am really happy I could do well for the team and look forward to more such performances," Junaid added.

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