Bangladesh A v England Lions at Sylhet, 4th unofficial ODI

Yesterday was all about the go-karts here at LimitedOvers, but today I am back into the cricket.  Unfortunately, today cricket is all potential energy, with very little kinetic.

The cricket world is waiting for Pakistan-England, for New Zealand-Zimbabwe (maybe just me), for Adelaide (no, really), for the third ODI between Sri Lanka and South Africa, for the Ranji final in Chennai, and India supporters are waiting to see just what exactly is going to happen to their team.

Adelaide will be the first taste of the BCCI’s future plans, and that’s why I am looking forward to the match, and that’s why I think the whole of India is looking forward to it.  Of course, we all have to wait an entire week…wait, wait, wait.

Thankfully, for those with access to Dish Network, the first test between Pakistan and England starts tonight at midnight, central time.

For a true preview of the match, I would suggest checking out Cricinfo, for today, I give you a quick history of cricket in the U.A.E.:

The game itself was brought to the region in 1892, when England took over control of what was then known as the “Sheikdoms” – and the sport gained in popularity during World War 2, as the Australian and English military established bases in cities through the Sheikdoms.

UAE declared its independence from Britain in 1971 and interest in the game steadily declined, but domestic leagues and clubs grew as Indian and Pakistani immigrants moved to their adopted home.

(Three of the UAE’s most successful cricketers at the international level were from Lahore, Pakistan. Mazhar Hussain (179 ODI runs, the most for his country), Saleem Raza (159 ODI runs, the second most), and Azhar Saeed (highest individual score in an ICC match.)

And though I was unable to find a great deal of information on their current international squad, I know at least one of their bowlers, Zahid Shah, is Pakistani.

Other than this article, I was also unable to find much on the UAE’s domestic leagues, so in the interest of time, let’s move on to the international level:

Their first international match was in 1976 against Pakistan (match abandoned.) They became Affiliate members of the ICC in 1989, and Associate members in 1990.

An international cricket stadium, the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, opened in 1982.  The ground has hosted almost 200 ODIs and five tests.

Two other grounds have hosted tests in the UAE, the Dubai International Cricket Stadium and the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, with each hosting two.

Despite the investment of the wealthy cricket loving elite to build the above stadiums, the UAE national team has not seen a great deal of success: They have appeared in one World Cup (1996, they finished 1-4-0), but they are participating in the current version of the Interncontinental Cup, which is serving as qualifying for the 2015 World Cup – they were invited into that competition despite not having full ODI status after winning the 2nd division of the World Cricket League, an event they also won in 2007.

Most of their success took place in the Asian Cricket Council Trophy competition, an event they won in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006.

Other the Intercontinental Cup, there is not much happening for the international squad.  They failed to finish in the top four of the 2011 ACC Twenty20 and therefore were not invited to the final round of qualifiers for the World Twenty20.  Unfortunately, for them, they are hosting the final qualifying round.

They do have a new coach, Kabir Khan, a former member of the Pakistani national team (played in four tests for them even), and is also the former coach of Afghanistan – and huge credit to him for taking that team from obscurity into a real Associate member powerhouse.

And that, in a nutshell, is cricket in the UAE.

Some stadium porn to finish things off for the day, that’s the Dubai International Cricket Stadium:

Until next time.

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