UAE to host historic series against West Indies as part of World Cup qualifier preparation

Three day-night matches to be played at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in June

Rohan Mustafa is likely to be part of the UAE team taking on the West Indies in June. JW Prinsloo for The National
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The UAE will play three one-day internationals against West Indies in Sharjah next month.

The series, which is the first official bilateral meeting between the two sides, has been organised to assist both with their Cricket World Cup Qualifier preparations.

Each is set to play at the 10-team event in Zimbabwe. Starting mid-June, the tournament carries with it the final two qualifying places for the main event in India later this year.

Two-time World Cup winners West Indies will be there on account of finishing in the bottom five places in the ODI Super League.

UAE, by contrast, sealed their place when they finished in the top two of the Qualifier Play-off in Namibia last month.

The fixtures at Sharjah Cricket Stadium will be day-night games, played on Monday, June 5, Wednesday, June 7, and Friday, June 9.

The sides will depart for Harare at the end of the series for the Qualifier, which starts on June 18.

While it is the maiden ODI series between the two teams, they have played unofficial 50-over series in Dubai before.

They have also met twice in global events. West Indies won when they met at the 2015 World Cup in Napier, New Zealand, then again at the last CWC Qualifier in Harare.

It is the fourth series the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) have organised against a full Test-playing side in less than a year.

They hosted a series against Bangladesh in Dubai ahead of travelling to last year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

The national team threatened an upset before losing out 2-1 to Afghanistan in a T20I series in February. They are also set to face New Zealand in a T20 series in August.

“We are delighted to host a former world champion side like the West Indies ahead of the qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe,” Mubashshir Usmani, the general secretary of the ECB, said.

“In recent months, our team has produced some sensational performances in the ODI format which have helped raise UAE cricket’s profile.

“Our qualification for the tournament in Zimbabwe exemplifies our recent achievements. We want to ensure we provide the best possible preparation to our team and this series will most certainly help in achieving the goal.”

Jimmy Adams, West Indies’ director of cricket, termed the series “historic” and said it will be “hugely beneficial to the growth and development” of the players.

Updated: May 10, 2023, 1:44 PM