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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 7 March 2021

Coach Robin Singh targets 50-over World Cup after UAE players' success in Abu Dhabi T10

Mohammed Wasim and Junaid Siddique played a big role in Northern Warriors' title win

Robin Singh has reiterated his belief that UAE can qualify for the 50-over World Cup, citing the eye-catching performances of a number of players in the Abu Dhabi T10 as a reason for optimism.

The national team head coach was also in charge of Northern Warriors for the 10-over competition, which concluded on Sunday.

The Warriors won their second T10 title in the space of three years. Tellingly, two of their most influential players – Mohammed Wasim and Junaid Siddique – are UAE based.

They were not the only ones. More UAE players than ever before played match-winning turns in the only competition in which they regularly play alongside many stars of the world game.

Singh insists cricket in the Emirates is in a “decently good space” and that “things are looking up”.

“One of our goals is to be in a position to qualify for the World Cup, and I’m not talking about the T20 World Cup, I’m talking about the 50-over World Cup," he said.

“Our goals are to play the next T20 World Cup, the 50-over World Cup, the women’s World Cup, the Under 19s.

“I think we have the ammunition to do that, I think we have the strength to do that, it is just we need to make sure we prepare well. There are no shortcuts going forward.”

It is unclear when the national team will return to competitive cricket.

The next series inked into the schedule is the Cricket World Cup League Two matches against United States and Scotland in August.

But Singh is sure the T10 exploits of the likes of Wasim, Junaid, Rohan Mustafa, Chirag Suri et al will have a positive effect on the belief within the team.

“I was in regular touch with most of the UAE players, we had many discussions, and one of the things we spoke about was going out there and not being afraid to compete,” he said.

“You cannot think you are worse than others. When you do well and succeed in those competitions, the confidence level goes up.

“These guys have set the example for the other guys in the team. Hopefully that fear factor will go from the team. It can’t be a one-off performance, it has to be a consistent way of performing.”

Wasim was named the UAE player of the tournament for the T10, but Singh reckons Junaid’s bowling was just as important to the Warriors’ title win.

“We have seen guys step up on the big stage,” Singh said.

“Some guys had been injured. Junaid, five months ago could not actually walk properly. He stepped up in the tournament, and I would say, even more than Wasim, he has been our best performer.

“He has been somebody who has to bowl under tremendous pressure. I’m not taking anything away from Wasim, but I was really thrilled to see how well they did.”

Published: February 8, 2021 05:45 PM

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