Muhammad Waseem becomes first UAE cricketer to be named ICC player of month

National team captain hit sparkling century in final of ACC Premier Cup in Oman

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UAE captain Muhammad Waseem received much-deserved recognition for a memorable period with the bat as he was named the International Cricket Council's player of the month for April.

Waseem led the way with the bat as the UAE emerged victorious in the ACC Premier Cup in Oman. Last month, Waseem hit a whirlwind century to lead the national team to Asia Cup qualification.

The UAE skipper hit a majestic 100 in 56 balls to help his team post 204-4, which helped beat Oman by 55 runs in the final of the T20 tournament in Muscat.

That result helped the UAE qualify for next year's Asia Cup. It was a stunning effort from the UAE and their captain Waseem, who started off with a first-ball duck against Kuwait, before turning things around with scores of 65, 45, and 48.

He thus became the first player from the UAE to win the ICC player of the month award, beating stiff competition from Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi and Namibia’s Gerhard Erasmus in the men's category.

"It is a great honour to win the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award. I am thrilled to join a distinguished list of award winners from around the world," Waseem told the ICC's website.

“The award is a big motivation for players especially those from emerging cricket teams like the UAE. Last month, our goal in the ACC Premier Cup in Oman was to qualify for next year's Asia Cup and I am proud of my team and their performance in the tournament.

“At a personal level I am happy that I led the team from the front, especially in the final. Scoring a century in a big game is indeed a special moment, especially when it helps the team to victory. I look forward to our preparations for the Asia Cup and my aim is to continue to deliver for the team with the bat and lead by example in these exciting times for UAE cricket.”

It has been a remarkable turnaround for the UAE who had suffered heavy defeats to Scotland and Canada before the ACC success.

“I was new then, but we have really worked hard, and I think the fruits are coming now,” UAE coach Lalchand Rajput said last month.

“We had a camp for 20 days before coming here. Our batting has started to click, we have bowled well. We have worked hard on our skill level.”

Updated: May 13, 2024, 2:55 PM