Muhammad Waseem leads UAE in NZ T20 series with one eye on World Cup

A number of youngsters could make their debut during three-match series

Muhammad Waseem will lead the UAE during the T20 series against New Zealand. Subas Humagain / The National
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Muhammad Waseem will lead the UAE in the T20 format for the first time when they face New Zealand in a three-match international series in Dubai.

Waseem, who is ranked No 6 in the world in T20I's batting standings, took over the captaincy from CP Rizwan earlier this year.

The national team have exclusively played one-day internationals in the time since.

Now they are returning to the shortest format as they build towards attempting to qualify for the T20 World Cup in the West Indies next year.

They will be aiming for one of the two places on offer at the Asian qualifying event in Nepal in November.

New Zealand, for their part, are en route to the UK where they will play a limited-overs series against England later this month. They will play at the World Cup in India in October and November.


The UAE could give debuts to a raft of new players, as they continue to back young, home-raised players.

One player at the other end of the age scale could also be in for a first start in the format.

Asif Khan will attempt to transfer his prolific ODI form to the 20-over game if he gets to make his bow against New Zealand.

Full internationals

New Zealand have been sending teams to play in the UAE since the early days of the Sharjah Cup in the 1980s.

They have decent recent memories of the country, having reached the final of the T20 World Cup in 2021, before losing out to Australia at Dubai International Stadium.

This is the first time they will face the host nation in a full international series, though.


There are highs of 14º Celsius in Auckland at the moment. In Durham, where New Zealand will play their first ODI against England next week, it was 17º and cloudy on Wednesday.

Their stop over in the UAE is rather different. At 6pm on Thursday, it is forecast to be 38º in Dubai.

“It will help us. It is obviously hot and the games are in the evening, so there will be the humidity to deal with,” said UAE spinner Aayan Khan.

“It will be hard for us and for them. We will have an idea of how the surface will play in the evening which will give us a bit of strength.”


All games start at 6pm at Dubai International Stadium. Admission is free

Thursday, August 17 - First T20I

Saturday, August 19 - Second T20I

Sunday, August 20 - Third T20I


UAE: Muhammad Waseem (captain), Ali Naseer, Ansh Tandon, Aryansh Sharma, Asif Khan, Aayan Khan, Basil Hameed, Ethan D’Souza, Mohammed Faraazuddin, Jash Giyanani, Junaid Siddique, Lovepreet Singh, Mohammad Jawadullah, Sanchit Sharma, Vriitya Aravind, Zahoor Khan

New Zealand: Tim Southee (captain), Adi Ashok, Chad Bowes, Mark Chapman, Dane Cleaver, Jacob Duffy, Dean Foxcroft, Kyle Jamieson, Ben Lister, Cole McConchie, Jimmy Neesham, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Will Young


The matches will be shown live on Fancode.

Updated: August 17, 2023, 5:46 AM