The result is a little odd given that UAE beat Namibia in Namibia a month ago, and also given that Namibia were dismissed so cheaply on Day 1. But it has been probably the best intercontinental game for a while.
For, UAE, despite the fact that they back their born and bred players these days, what cannot be ignored is that what keeps them even at this level are the expat players. Even in this game, Khurram Khan both with bat and ball, and Saqib Ali. The interesting thing is of course that Fahad Al Hashmi, not just born and bred, but an Arab, was the highest wicket taker in the first innings.
I am jumping the gun, but the 2 semi finals have been decided in the ACC U19. It is Malaysia v Nepal, and Afghanista v UAE. The match ups are courtesy of Afghanistan’s upset victory over Malaysia on the opening day of the tournament.
Now lets say Afghanistan and Nepal make it to the finals, then Malaysia would still get qualification while one of the others would get left behind. While this is unfair, I am still ok with the fact that Malaysia being the hosts of the U19 WC should be featuring their team. What I am not ok with is that the fact that one of Nepal or Afghanistan may be left out, while Bermuda and PNG have made it through to the World Cup. I would think the standard difference is just too much in that case, and there should be a second shot for the losing ACC team by playing Bermuda or PNG.
Additionally, the funny thing is that Scotland will have a go at the qualifying ACC team. Why has that special consideration being made?
After Netherlands beat Bermuda by an innings, I dont think anyone was expecting any improvements from Bermuda……
I think Bermuda v Namibia, and Bermuda v UAE will be the ones to watch. I am expecting that if the current state of affairs persists, Bermuda is likely to end up at the bottom end of the pile. Maybe vs UAE, Bermuda will come out on tops ….. but under the current circumstances, I think Namibia is the true deserver of the 6th top associate spot.
Here is a question for some….. why is the Nepal U19 team so much stronger than the UAE U19 team?
For the last 6 years, Nepal has been winning the U19 ACC event, and UAE I think has not even finished runners up once; Malaysia has been taking that spot.
Even if you take only the expats living in UAE, you have close to 2.5 million of them from Cricket playing countries. In Nepal you have maybe 1 million people interested in cricket by a wild guess (dont worry, the guess is from a Nepalese Cricket Writer). The UAE kids have obviously a world class infrastructure and facilities at their disposal, and now youalso have a lot of them being sent to India for courses and stints etc. Neither country has a strong senior team to follow, while both have cricket on tv all the time.
So why is Nepal producing youngsters who are better than SA and NZ, while UAE youngsters cant even qualify for a world cup?
Last year, UAE lost to Namibia in a similar manner…… looks to me like the world rankings are pretty much correct, with UAE not being able to fare well against anyone away from home….. in fact, the word that I should be using is woeful……
UAE players are pretty much professional players….. some of them have been called in especially to play cricket from the subcontinent….. such performances do not make sense against amateurs……
Somehow, ,not only at home, but also away, they match up with Scotland…… thats a bit of an enigma…….
Unfortunately, its not by the board. However, this news piece does show that there is interest in the locals as well.
UAE perhaps went as far as they could go with an associate set up 2-3 years back. They have since stayed at the same level. The only way forward is for the game to go to the locals. Interestingly, there is a ready made set up for the locals to now get into the game. This could not have been possible without the expats.
By an innings and 170 runs……. Boyd Rankin, who as far as I know did not play in the WCL got 5 wickets in the match, and that is probably the edge that Ireland missed in the WCL. I think that Ireland have a strong enough batting lineup that they dont really need their batsmen going all the way down the order. So it looks like one of Botha or White will have to go. On current form, after the UAE match, I think Botha will be difficult to drop. Their ideal team in my opinion is:
Neil O Brien
Kevin O Brien
Now, coming back to UAE. What an enigma. They got slaughtered by Namibia in Namibia, then they managed to push Scotland to the edge (Scotland being the WCL finalists and the only team to beat Kenya in that tournament). Now they give this performance against Ireland at home. Something going on that I dont understand?
What is seeming more and more obvious is the fact that neither UAE nor Bermuda are in the top 6 associate league, though UAE probably is better than Bermuda in case they were. Namibia seems to be the only other team that is probably the number 6 ranked team in the associates.