The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has unveiled its formidable 16-member squad in anticipation of the exhilarating three-match T20I series against New Zealand. The high-octane contest is set to unfold at the grand stage of the Dubai International Stadium, commencing this Thursday. An air of anticipation surrounds this clash, especially as Mohammad Waseem takes on the captain’s mantle for the first time in the T20I series.
A seasoned campaigner with 23 T20Is under his belt, Waseem was appointed as the ODI captain earlier this year, showcasing his leadership credentials. Now, he is entrusted with the responsibility of steering the UAE national men’s team in the T20I format, marking a significant phase in his cricketing journey.
Amidst the announcement, the spotlight shines on two promising youngsters who have earned their spot in the squad. All-rounder Faraazuddin and left-arm spinner Jash Giyanani, both uncapped, have earned their stripes through consistent performances in domestic cricket and with the UAE A’ squad. Their inclusion adds a layer of excitement to the squad’s composition, hinting at the nation’s investment in nurturing emerging talent.
The squad also boasts the inclusion of Asif Khan, who is on the cusp of making his T20I debut. Khan’s journey to this moment has been marked by impressive displays, particularly in the ODI format. Notably, he etched his name into the cricketing annals by scoring the fastest century for an Associate Member batter earlier this year during the ODI World Cup qualifiers held in Nepal.
Asif Khan’s recent form speaks volumes of his batting prowess and consistency. His unbeaten 145-ball 151 against the USA in the ODI World Cup qualifiers’ ninth-place playoff underscored his capability to deliver under pressure. The cricketing world witnessed his prowess again when he smashed a 45-ball 102* against Nepal in March, crafting the fourth-quickest ODI century and the fastest by an Associate hitter. Just two weeks later, Khan continued his masterclass with an 84-ball 103 against the United States.
UAE squad for T20I series against New Zealand: Mohammad Waseem (captain), Ali Naseer, Ansh Tandon, Aryansh Sharma, Asif Khan, Aayan Afzal Khan, Basil Hameed, Ethan D’Souza, Faraazuddin, Jash Giyanani, Junaid Siddique, Lovepreet Singh, Mohammad Jawadullah, Sanchit Sharma, Vriitya Aravind and Zahoor Khan.