Home > UAE > Opinion: Lowdown on UAE…..

Opinion: Lowdown on UAE…..

UAE squad had about 3-4 born and bred players……. but if I look at their performing players in the ACC Trophy, it is still an expat team……

Ali Asad (Expat, from Pakistan)
8-1-18-1 v Saudi Arabia
8-2-23-0 v Malaysia
10-0-24-2 v Nepal
10-3-23-0 v Hong Kong

Mohammed Iqbal
51 v Saudi Arabia
45 v Qatar

Saqib Ali (expat, from Pakistan)
132* v Saudi Arabia
52* v Malaysia

Arshad Ali (Expat, from Pakistan)
83* v Malaysia
8-0-22-2 v Malaysia
42 v Qatar
75* v Nepal
10-1-35-3 v Hong Kong

Shadeep Silva (expat, from Sri lanka)
10-3-24-4 v Malaysia
10-0-39-4 v Qatar
10-0-16-3 v Nepal
10-0-30-1 v Hong Kong

Mohammed Tauqir (UAE Born and Bred National, South Asian Descent)
9-2-13-0 v Malaysia
9-0-30-3 v Nepal

Khurram Khan (Expat, from Pakistan)
112 v Qatar
61* v Hong Kong

Rameez Shezad (Learnt his cricket in UAE)
46* v Qatar

Javaid Ismail
9-3-20-1 v Hong Kong

Some things need to be taken into account. I am not sure WHEN these guys went from the test playing country to UAE. If they went before they were 10, it should perhaps be ignored and they should be considered, at least to have learnt their cricket in the UAE, and hence representing the UAE cricket structure.

For the players that I have not listed as either expat or not, I could not find any information about their origin. If anyone can fill out the list on Javiad Ismail or Mohammed Iqbal, please give it as a comment. Also any corrections should be given as a comment.

So it looks like only Europe has teams at the top which are higher in stnadard than the expat based teams.

Categories: UAE
  1. rego
    August 27, 2006 at 2:46 am

    Firstly, just a change
    Rameez Shezhad is 18 years old and he has played all his cricket from the U-13 level onwards in UAE.

    Nasir.. though you have some points here, I think you are somewhat confused. Even though most of these guys have played cricket in Pakistan or Sri Lanka, they have been playing cricket UAE for the last 10+ years. They have been living in the country, have children there, and coach there as well. There are pakistani first class cricketers in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia. How come we don’t see them challenging UAE often? Its because UAE has a stronger domestic structure,more regular tournaments, and better facilities in comparison to them. This has to be attributed to the Emirates Cricket Board and NOT Pakistan Cricket or Sri Lanka Cricket, and so UAE has to be given some credit.

    UAE have about 5 players who are 19 or 20 in this team and who haven’t played their cricket elsewhere. Apart from that they have a couple of old players, one of whom is a national and other other who has been living in UAE for 20+ years and has played all his cricket in UAE. Thats 7 out of 14 players.

    Lets look at Scotland and Ireland. Trent Johnson, the Irish captain,moved to Ireland about ten years ago after playing all his life in Australia. Andre Botha played first class cricket in South Africa before coming to Ireland. Andrew Poynter has played all his cricket in England. Adrian McCoubrey played cricket in South Africa. Thinus fourie(South AFrica) Dewald Nel moved from South Africa when he was 18. Gavin Hamilton(educated in Kent, England), Dougie Brown(educated in west london), Craig White all played for England. Kyle Coetzer (South Africa). Paul Hoffman only came to scotland 5 or 6 years ago from australia as a club professional! Simon Smith (was education in northumberland & played for Loughborough). Ryan Watson played in Johannesburg before moviing to Scotland some years back. James Brinkley was brought up in Western Australia to me. This sounds more like Canada to me, where people who have been brought up in test playing countries have now moved back and are playing for these countries because they have a Scottish mom or grandparent or smth. Just like UAE where 7 out of 14 are expats, half or more than half of these teams are expats!

  2. August 27, 2006 at 3:13 am

    A correction to the previous comment. You’re getting Craig White (played for England) mixed up with Craig Wright (completely different player who plays only for Scotland).

    I’ve never understood the problem with ex-pat players. It’s always going to happen in countries where cricket is a relatively young game. Do you think that the first matches in India were contested by “native” players? No, they were contested by Englishmen. Ex-pat players are always going to be part of any sport when it is a young sport in a country.

    If they’re eligible, wheres the problem? This isn’t like football where you can play for Ireland if you once drank in an Irish theme pub in New York, to be able to play in the development tournaments, they have to meet some quite strict criteria, certainly the strictest of any sport. It’s not as if they can just turn up in the country and all of a sudden start playing for them.

    And if the test playing countries do it, why not the non-test countries? Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are the only test playing countries to have never picked a player born outside the country.

  3. rego
    August 27, 2006 at 4:44 am

    haha..careless mistake.small part of a larger point i was trying to make about the fact that so much attention is paid to the expat problem in Asia, when its happening everywhere!..I agree with you to some degree..If they are eligible then they are certainly allowed to play and there is no problem with that at all..I also agree with the fact that expat players are always going to present in younger cricketing nations…however, I think ultimately, for a side to come anywhere close to where the test nations are today(India, Australia, Pakistan), there has to be a cricket culture, where the majority of the population follows or plays the sport, and the game is commercialized. Unfortunately, this isn’t going to happen in places like Kuwait, UAE, Hong Kong, Canada, and USA unless the sport is taken to the locals..Its a long process but it has to happen sometime or the other..Its happening in Nepal, and Afghanistan. All that those two countries need is the money!

  4. fred
    August 27, 2006 at 5:06 am

    unless the sport is taken to the locals. (says rego)
    are they? does anybody know much about the junior structures in these (and other ACC) countries?
    Cricket is not really a game you can take to adults. Unless kids play it, in frontier countries (Thai, Japan, US etc) it will remain a expat sport, with varying degrees of local participation.
    Countries like Afghanistan and Nepal are exceptions (and as such should get treated as such with some ICC $$$!). While the ICC should be encouraging more games for the Afghans, Nepals and (?) Italies, it should be channeling more energy and money into schools.
    I am impressed with the people supporting cricket in Thailand.

  5. rego
    August 27, 2006 at 6:46 am

    Nepal has a large Indian influence in its media(television, newspapers etc.) and is basically a similar society to India. Values, Cultural traits, and traditions from india have rubbed off on the nepali people. “big brother” india’s obsession with the sport has also rubbed off onto nepalis. Afghanistan has similar influence from pakistan.

    I’m disappointed in the fact that countries like UAE, Canada who are top associates don’t even seem to have proper ethnic development programs. Makes you wonder why ICC even bothers with them if they aren’t developing the sport at the grassroots.

    It’s not thaat big in Thailand yet,but kids are taking to the sport..so it should be interesting to see what the future holds. Japan are another country with huge potential because of their economic capabilities and ability to commercialize the sport in a large manner.

  6. Cuen Lucas
    August 27, 2006 at 11:30 am

    “It’s always going to happen in countries where cricket is a relatively young game.”

    Not always. Two glaring exceptions are the U.S.A. and Canada, who have had cricket for 150+ years and were the participants in the first international cricket match (although it wasn’t recognized as a true “Test” match)

    And judging by the general mindset of the governing bodies of the two countries it seems to be that things will remain as they are. Canada demonstrated this a short while ago, when they sacked Eddie Norfolk who was doing a great job of trying to popularize the game, (see link)


  7. August 28, 2006 at 2:38 am

    Cuen…… There are other differences too…… Canada and USA, when they used to play in the 1850s, used to get decent backing from their population, expat or not………. first of all, I believe the players in that time were born and bred US citizens, and not expats as such…….

    Andrew….. Why is UAE not able to get 1-2K people to come to the grounds for UAE matches? Why is Canada unable to get 5K people to come to the grounds for Canada matches? Same for USA…… there are huge populations, and we are talking about 2-3 million expat populations in these countries…… why dont they come to back the team in the matches?

    Paying first class cricketers from test playing countries to come and play in your country for half a year for 4 years to make them eligable for selection, and then getting a ranking is by no means an indication of ‘how the game used to expand in the past’….. if you cant get a single born and bred mainstream person in the team after being in the ICC for 40 years, something is NOT going according to how things went when the British brought the game to the subcontinent or West Indies………

    This is a different age, a different ‘expat’ cmmunity (which has never in the past taken any game to the areas in which they have moved to), a different status of the expat community (Britishers were the elites, and the rulers)….. and the biggest difference is that in 80% of the cases, the South Asian expats dont take the game in their new home seriously either……….

    I was looking at the Hong Kong and Singapore teams from the 1979 ICC Trophy, and I found something interesting….. their teams were from minority communities, but were all born and bred in Hong Kong or Singapore…….. now we have gone from Born and Bred players in those countries in the 70s to the current situation of the game being played solely by the expats and very few born and breds….. and yet we talk about ‘this is how the game expands’………

  8. fred
    August 28, 2006 at 6:23 am

    Japan? No huge potential there. Sorry. At best it could become a bigger unknown minority sport. Most Japanese still think cricket is played on a horse, and that will likely stay the same for ever.
    Most Japanese DONT play sport. Few sports have any following here. Soccer (in 4 year waves, too), baseball. coming in behind that is rugby, and then things drop off dramatically. A few fighting sports have a following. There is a huge pro-American bias. Universities/companies will dropp silly amounts of money trying to get an american football team, but that gets next to no following either.
    Rain. It rains through summer. And then the typhoons come in at the business end of the cricket season. and the lack of space for grounds and the traditional fear of new and unusual things which affect decision making (as in allocating ground space).
    The average Japanese works too hard (or long…) to have time for cricket. Guys get home form work after 10, often 6 days a week. They dont have time for a game of soccer, let alone 7 hours of cricket (and 4 hours of travel time)
    Japan’s decent showing at international level and hosting of ICC qualifiers caused a minor ‘blip’ on the radar, but media covergae is back to non-existant. Even the English press doesnt run the local scores! Perhaps if a son of a pakistani/japanese marraiage became the next shoab akhtar, then there’d be some interest, but until then, Japan will be a cricekting backwater.
    There are a couple of young Japanese playing Aussie Rules Footy in country Australia, who haved trained with the pro-teams. There was some decent media interest, but that didnt last and now it is back to baseball/soccer/rugby.
    I doubt that in my lifetime I will see a crowd of 200 at a Japan match.

  9. rego
    August 28, 2006 at 8:11 am

    Nasir..Singapore and Hong Kong are different in their approaches..Hong Kong is completely an expat team with about 3 guys who played this time who have played all their cricket in Hong Kong..just three guys!..

    Singapore are a little different..Though they have payed 4 or 5 first class players to become coaches and players in Singapore..they have a decent dvelopment programs..and in the national squad that they have named for 2006, which includes 27 odd players..about 15 or 16 are actually singapore citizens and have learnt the game in Singapore.

    Nasir..I don’t think anyone is able to spectators to the grounds these days as we used to in the past. The only places outside the test world where you would get a full ground would be Nepal and Afghanistan, and maybe Kenya. Nobody even watches first class state games in test countries..even in India. Is it just the fact less people are interested in the sport all together?..and the only matches in cricket that attract tens of thousands of people are matches involving the subcontinent teams?..

    Cuen aren’t you being a little pessimistic about Japanese Cricket?..I mean even though I don’t know too much about it..Surely there must be something for the future.if the team are fully indigenous, have 20+ grounds in the country, and have an indigenous league?

    Unless cricket becomes the soccer of the world, you aren’t going to see huge followings of the sport in places such as the gulf countries, Canada and USA..I mean the American population have only just adopted “soccer” in 10 to 15 years.

  10. Cuen Lucas
    August 28, 2006 at 9:50 am

    Rego, I think it was fred being pessimistic about Japanese cricket 🙂 Personally I feel that if there’s time for baseball, then cricket does have an inkling of a chance despite all the ostacles the fred mentioned, it might not take the country by storm, but the fact that there is indigenous interest shows that cricket does have appeal, and provides a small ray of hope for the future.

    Nasir, You’re absolutely right about the maistream interest in cricket in the U.S.A. and Canada all those years ago, but look at the governing bodies level of interest in rekindling those levels of interest;

    – The head of the CCA appears to have found his own prestige more important, and fired the man who was working hard to popularize the sport.

    – And to the best of my knowledge, all the mainstreaming work in the U.S.A. has been done privately by individuals with NO support from the USACA, who show no interest in the subject. As we saw on the USCricket.com bb, people had to virtually force the USACA to even recognize the idea of maistreaming when they included it as a point in a memorandum to the USACA.

  11. August 28, 2006 at 11:49 am

    I think the only promise that was shown this year, though we are still looking at 10 years, was by Argentina and Maldives…………. Italy and Japan were much below my expectations of them……….

  12. rego
    August 28, 2006 at 5:16 pm

    Lets not forget Afghanistan and the improvements they have made. Let me just focus on the Maldives a bit and the problems I think they are facing.
    1. They need a turf ground and turf practice facilities
    2. They need to get people involved in the sport outside the capital, Male. This is difficult because of transport problems between islands and lack of any facilities on many islands.
    3. They need to use Sri Lanka even more than they are presently.
    MOre players of the caliber of Moosa Kaleem are only going to turn up if all of these are rectified.

    That said, they benefit from a population that loves the sport, a president who loves the sport, a totally indigenous playing population, TV coverage, and strong sponsorship deals.

  13. fred
    August 29, 2006 at 5:27 am

    I’d love to know where these 20 grounds in Japan are! They certainly arent anywhere within 2 hours of tokyo. Cricket may have been played at some of these grounds once but that doesnt make them cricket grounds.
    Yes, it is good that a half dozen universities play the game. But that doesnt make cricket ripe for an explosion.
    The team is mostly Japanese, but rely quite a bit on their foreigners. To their credit, the dont take the easy way- pick the best XI players in Japan. They play only 3 foreigners per game.

  14. rego
    August 29, 2006 at 10:44 pm

    Fred..my comment on the grounds was taken either from cricinfo or from the japan cricket site..ill try to find the exact location..but you’re..many of these grounds are probably football grounds where cricket is played on laid matting. 3 foreigners per game? Is that the policy for national team or the league teams?..Thats a great initiative..I mean obviously nobody expects Japan to be the next India or Pakistan in cricket, but its good to see that locals are taking an interest in the sport and the association is actively promoting and developing the sport amongst them.

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