UAE cricket faces a pivotal 10 days as the national team compete at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier Play-off in Windhoek.
The six-team competition carries with it two places for the final phase of World Cup qualifying - global Qualifier in Zimbabwe, which will take place in June and July.
For UAE, their one-day international status is also on the line. They must finish in the top two out of a group of four teams, which also includes Papua New Guinea, Canada and Jersey to retain that.
The national team begin their campaign in Namibia when they face familiar rivals PNG on Monday.
ODI ranking: 17
Seemed set for third place in Cricket World Cup League 2 – which would have guaranteed progress straight to the Qualifier – but they flopped over the finishing line when they were deprived half their side due to injury and unavailability. Nepal nipped in to advance to the Qualifier ahead of them with an incredible run of 11 wins in 12 games.
They have home advantage, but mainstays like David Wiese, JJ Smit, Stephan Baard and Jan Frylinck are still conspicuous by their absence.
One to watch: Gerhard Erasmus. The leading run-scorer in League 2, and one of the finest captains in international cricket.
ODI ranking: 18
Clung on to ODI status after UAE’s implosion at the end of the League 2 cycle meant USA finished fifth. The American side will argue they merited that, though, having won 4-1 in head-to-head battles with UAE over the course of the competition.
One to watch: Ali Khan. One of the fastest bowlers on the Associate circuit, but rarely spotted in the League 2 campaign. Showed his class in one of his few appearances, though, when he took five wickets against Oman.
ODI ranking: 19
Will be playing for their ODI privileges in Windhoek, after they lost 10 of their last 14 matches in League 2.
Their mood might not be quite as low as a run like that might suggest, though. Since that league ended, in Kathmandu earlier this month, UAE have parted ways with their coach, Robin Singh. Expect an interim-coach bounce on Mudassar Nazar’s watch.
One to watch: Rameez Shahzad. Nearly five years since he last played ODI cricket, the player with the highest average among UAE batters is back.
ODI ranking: 20
A long way adrift over the full course of League 2, but looked a far happier side – and consequently more competitive – under their new coaching team towards the end of that event.
Won just five times in League 2, but four of those were against UAE, who they face first in Namibia.
One to watch: Norman Vanua. A bustling medium-pacer whose late-overs batting can be game changing for PNG.
ODI ranking: N/A
It is over seven years now since Canada last played full ODI cricket. They could not have got any closer to securing it than when they played at World Cricket League Division 2 in 2018, but their prospects were lanced by a scarcely believable last-wicket stand by Nepal’s Karan KC and Sandeep Lamichhane.
In Namibia having dominated the A division of the ICC Challenge League.
One to watch: Saad Bin Safar. Canada’s captain leaked less than three runs per over as his side dominated Challenge League B, and he took two five-wicket hauls, too.
ODI ranking: N/A
A country whose entire population would fit into the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad – and with plenty of legroom besides. They have been punching well above their weight in cricket for some time now, as shown by them beating Uganda, Hong Kong, Kenya and Bermuda to a place in the Play-off.
One to watch: Nick Greenwood. The top run-getter in Challenge League B, as he amassed 809 runs in 15 games, with three hundreds and a strike-rate of 96.5.
Sunday, March 26 – Namibia v United States
Monday, March 27 – UAE v PNG, Jersey v Canada
Wednesday, March 29 – Canada v United States, PNG v Namibia
Thursday, March 30 – Namibia v Jersey, United States v UAE
Saturday, April 1 – UAE v Canada, PNG v Jersey
Sunday, April 2 – PNG v United States, Namibia v UAE
Tuesday, April 4 – Canada v Namibia, USA v Jersey
Wednesday, April 5 – Jersey v UAE, Canada v PNG
Muhammad Waseem (captain), Vriitya Aravind, Aayan Afzal Khan, Asif Khan, Matiullah Khan, Zahoor Khan, Aryan Lakra, Karthik Meiyappan, Rohan Mustafa, Rameez Shahzad, Aryansh Sharma, Sanchit Sharma, Junaid Siddique, Ansh Tandon
Matches will be streamed live and for free on icc.tv.