UAE cricket schedule 2022: Two new tournaments and T20 World Cup qualifying

The country's youngsters get the year up and running at the U19 World Cup in West Indies

The UAE, captain by Alishan Sharafu, flew to St Kitts on Sunday morning for the U19 World Cup. Chris Whiteoak / The National

The UAE became the centre of world cricket for two-and-a-half months at the end of 2021.

First, the Indian Premier League was played to its conclusion across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. Then, two days later, the T20 World Cup started at the same venues.

And the conclusion of the country’s first cricket World Cup was followed swiftly by the start of the Abu Dhabi T10.

Despite the surfeit of top-level international cricket, the country’s leading players were under-employed for much of last year because of the effects of Covid.

The men’s senior team drew with Ireland in a one-day series at the start of the year. Near the end of it, they beat the same team in a rousing T20 series that was mainly designed to give the Irish practice ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Other than that, pickings were meagre. They did go on one tour, to Namibia in November – but had to about-face before a ball was even bowled, due to the onset of the Omicron variant in southern Africa.

After the 2021 famine, 2022 should be a feast – coronavirus-permitting. The men’s and women’s teams have plenty to aim for over the next 12 months – starting in a few days’ time in a cricket-paradise in the Caribbean.

UAE U19 captain Alishan Sharafu. Chris Whiteoak/ The National

Under 19 World Cup

The national age-group side qualified to play at a second successive Under 19 World Cup in absentia, after the qualifying competition was cancelled. The side, captained by Alishan Sharafu, flew to St Kitts on Sunday morning. Fixtures: Saturday January 15, v Canada. Thursday January 20, v England. Saturday January 22, v Bangladesh.

Ahmed Raza, the UAE captain. Antonie Robertson / The National

Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier

UAE have the chance to exorcise the pain of missing out on a home World Cup last year by bidding to make it to the next one. Next month’s qualifying competition in Muscat, also including Bahrain, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Philippines, Nepal and Oman, carries with it two places at the main event in Australia.

Premier League T20

The country’s new franchise league had initially been due to launch this month. However, despite announcement owners of Manchester United and Mumbai Indians had bought sides, information regarding the schedule and teams remains scarce.

SHARJAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 06: General view outside of the stadium ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup match between England and SA at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on November 06, 2021 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Alex Davidson / Getty Images)

Ninety-90 Bash

After the T10 League moved down the coast to Abu Dhabi two years ago, having had its first two seasons at UAE’s oldest cricket venue, Sharjah looked for a new concept to call its own. It plans to stage a new 90-ball tournament in May and June.

The UAE team celebrate after beating Nepal in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier at the ICC Academy in Dubai on Sunday, November 28. All images by Ruel Pableo for The National

Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier

A side built on some thrilling teenaged talent dominated the Asia qualifier in Dubai in November. They now face a global qualifier at some point this year to play for the chance to make it to the main event, in 2023 in South Africa.

World Cup League Two

Covid has harpooned the 50-over league which is the first part of qualifying for the 2023 World Cup. After a rash of postponements last year, UAE could potentially play series in Namibia, Nepal, Scotland and Papua New Guinea this year. How they will fit it all in, who knows.

Asia Cup

Just as they did in the T20 World Cup, UAE also missed out on playing at the Asia Cup at home in 2018. The next edition is scheduled for Sri Lanka in September. The qualification process remains unclear.

T20 World Cup

Less than a year after Australia clinched the last T20 World Cup in the final against New Zealand in Dubai, they will host the next one. It is due to start on October 16, with the final on November 13. UAE will hope to be there.

Andre Russell smashed 90 not out in 32 balls to power Deccan Gladiators to victory over Delhi Bulls in the Abu Dhabi T10 final.

Abu Dhabi T10

The 10-over tournament has become an established featured of the sporting calendar over the course of the past five years. Deccan Gladiators won the title for the first time last month.

Updated: January 4th 2022, 5:16 AM