News: Namibia thrash UAE in 2 days
Namibia’s recent routing of UAE by an innings and 149 runs, from memory being the most one sided 4 day Intercontinental cup match between 2 teams of consecutive ‘rank’, opens up a number of questions.
For one thing, the UAE team was a full team. All their expats were playing, including Shadeep Silva who I forgot to mention in my previous entry, someone who was ending up with 3-4 wickets in each of the ACC Trophy games. The difference in standard seems to be too much between the top associates and the rest, and UAE would be left asking questions about the value of playing in the ACC Premier league.
UAE is one of the few associate countries that not only boasts test standard facilities, but also has the money to host other associates for tours, irrespective of the stands being empty and the game not having any public interest over there. They should make their own itenerary, not relying on what ICC does for them, and go ahead and schedule tours from Namibia and the HPP countries.
The second thing that I would like to mention is that it looks like Nepal didnt do so badly against Namibia if the UAE crumbled agaisnt them the way they did. Nepal also had the disadvantage of playing IN Namibia. One would need to monitor Namibia’s performance IN UAE to see whether the difference was basically because of conditions. On slow, low, spinning tracks, Shadeep Silva and the likes may be unplayable for Namibian players. I believe that there is a return tour scheduled (or did that get converted into the current UAE tour of Namibia instead). But at least Nepal should be happy that they gave a better account of themselves than UAE are doing at the momment.
Match fitness may be a huge factor. Namibians have been playing in the South African provincial tournament for both the 3 day and the 1 day championships. UAe have also been playing in the ACC Premier league, but I dont think the standards compare well.
ACC would be better advised to stop making UAE play with weaker teams in the region, or at least compliment that with some games from Bangladesh A or Sri Lanka A. UAE has been the strongest team in the region below test level for 10 years now, and it seems that all that is happenning in Asia is that more and more countries are playing the game (not really, but at least technically) while the standard is either stagnant or relatively going down. UAE beat Namibia in the ICC Trophy in 2005, but looks like Namibia have taken the ‘missing Bermuda game’ to heart and are now out to reclaim their spot. Bermuda/ Canada would be hard pressed to retain their ODI status if Namibia keep on improving like this and keep on getting experienced like this.