·Hong Kong captain Tanwir Afzal: “We have really focused on our physical conditioning and worked hard on improving our specific fielding skills and roles.”
·50-over ICC WCLC matches to be played on 16 and 18 November at ICC Academy
UAE and Hong Kong will be aiming to secure the opening points in their ICC Intercontinental Cup campaign when they face each other on Wednesday, 11 November, in pursuit of their dreams for Test status. The four-day first-class fixture will be played in the ICC Academy in Dubai.
The UAE and Hong Kong have met only once in the competition, back in April 2005 at Sharjah, when the UAE won a low-scoring contest by seven wickets with Khurram Khan scoring twin fifties in the match.
This is UAE’s sixth appearance in the Intercontinental Cup (having also featured on one occasion in the ICC Shield) and in 28 appearances to date have won seven matches, lost 11 and drawn 10 times. Hong Kong is making its second appearance in the Intercontinental Cup (after first appearing in 2005) and in three games thus far have yet to record a win, having lost twice and drawn once.
In the first round of fixtures, United Arab Emirates (UAE) fell to an innings and 26 runs defeat to Ireland in Malahide in June, while Hong Kong lost to Namibia by a 114-run margin in May.
This outcome will put back on track either side’s ambitions of winning the ICC Intercontinental Cup and qualify for the ICC Test Challenge, which will be played against the 10th-ranked Test side on a home and away basis in 2018. If the ICC Intercontinental Cup winner wins the ICC Test Challenge, then it will secure Test status until the next ICC Test Challenge, which will take place in 2022.
The four-day match will be followed by two 50-over matches at the ICC Academy in Dubai. These matches will be part of the ICC World Cricket League Championship from which the top sides will progress to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2018 Qualifier, scheduled to be held in Bangladesh.
Looking ahead to the series, recently-installed UAE captain Ahmed Raza said: “We have a good mix of young and experienced players and I’m really excited to work alongside them on our Intercontinental Cup and ICC World Cricket League Championship campaigns against Hong Kong. Our preparation leading into the series has been really good and I hope that will reflect in the results. Our squad have a couple of new faces, which is quite exciting as we are starting to build for the next Qualifiers in 2017.
“Personally, it is a proud moment for me to be named as the captain of UAE. I’ve led UAE as a caretaker in the past and had reasonable success coming from it. Thanks to the selectors and head coach who have shown faith in my skill as a leader.”
Hong Kong captain Tanwir Afzal added: “We have really focused on our physical conditioning and worked hard on improving our specific fielding skills and roles in the various formats we will be playing.
“It’s great to see the young cricketers like Chris Carter getting opportunities to play in these tournaments as they bring a different dynamic to the squad.”
UAE (from): Ahmed Raza (captain), Amjad Ali, Shaiman Anwar, Nasir Aziz, Abdul Shakkor Bangash, Qais Farooq, Asif Iqbal, Raja Adeel Iqbal, Umair Ali Khan, Sreekumar Laxman, Usman Musthaq, M Naveed, Swapnil Patil (wicketkeeper) and Youdhin Punja.
Hong Kong (from): Tanwir Afzal (captain), Nadeem Ahmed, Haseeb Amjad, Jamie Atkinson, Waqas Barkat, Chris Carter (wicketkeeper), Mark Chapman, Babar Hayat, Aizaz Khan, Nizakat Khan, Waqas Khan, Ehsan Nawaz, Anshuman Rath, Kinchit Shah and Ninad Shah.
Umpires - Vineet Kulkarni and Sarika Prasad
Match Referee - Dev Govindjee
Intercontinental Cup points table
Teams Mat Won Lost Draw Pts
Ireland 2 2 0 0 40
Netherlands 2 1 1 0 26
Namibia 2 1 1 0 20
PNG 1 1 0 0 14
Scotland 2 0 1 1 13
Afghanistan 1 0 0 1 7
Hong Kong 1 0 1 0 0
UAE 1 0 1 0 0
ICC World Cricket League points table
Team Played Won Lost N/R Points
Kenya 4 3 1 0 6
Netherlands 4 2 0 2 6
Scotland 4 2 0 2 6
Hong Kong 2 1 1 0 2
UAE 2 1 1 0 2
Namibia 4 1 3 0 2
Nepal 2 0 2 0 0
PNG 2 0 2 0 0