Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 October 2020

Dougie Brown backs UAE to thrive under 'pressure' after learning T20 World Cup qualifying group

Hosts are the top-seeded side in Group B, which if they top will guarantee a place at next year's tournament in Australia

UAE captain Mohammad Naveed and coach Dougie Brown will be aiming for a successful T20 World Cup qualifying campaign. Chris Whiteoak / The National
UAE captain Mohammad Naveed and coach Dougie Brown will be aiming for a successful T20 World Cup qualifying campaign. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Dougie Brown expects his UAE side to thrive under the pressure of attempting to qualify for next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia – and hopes they can win some new fans in the process.

The UAE are the top seeded side in Group B of the qualification tournament, which starts on October 18.

They are joined in a seven-team group by Ireland, Oman, Hong Kong, Canada, Jersey and Nigeria. All the pool’s matches will take place in Abu Dhabi.

The other group, which will stage its matches in Dubai, involves Scotland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Namibia, Singapore, Kenya and Bermuda.

The top team from each group advance to the semifinal, and thus secure direct qualification to the main event in Australia a year later. Three more teams from each group will play qualification playoffs to determine the other four qualifiers.

The six teams to qualify will join the top 10 teams in the ICC’s rankings, as of December 2018, at the main event in 2020.

The sides already qualified are Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

UAE will enter the Qualifier full of optimism, given their familiarity with the conditions, as well as the fact they claimed a 4-0 cleansweep away in the Netherlands on their most recent assignment.

Exact broadcast details are yet to be confirmed, but at least four of the UAE’s pool matches are due to be televised, as well as the knockout phase.

“It is an opportunity for our guys to show our skills, and hopefully a new audience can be captivated by the skills that we as Associate cricketers have,” Brown, the UAE coach, said.

“Our guys have been looking for a chance to be seen globally for a while now, and it is an opportunity to show what they’ve got.

“There is pressure on everybody. That is the nature of Associate tournaments. We are playing for a once in a lifetime opportunity to play on the biggest stage, in a World Cup, in Australia.

“It’s incredibly exciting, and the closer it gets, the more real it becomes. With that comes pressure.

“We are trying to over-pressurise the training environment so that when we do get to the tournament itself, and we are under pressure, we can enjoy it.

“We know there will be pressure and you can’t afford to stuff it up, which is why we are training as hard as we are.”

Group A (world ranking in brackets)

1 Scotland (12)

2 Netherlands (16)

3 Papua New Guinea (17)

4 Namibia (20)

5 Singapore (21)

6 Kenya (29)

7 Bermuda (30)

Group B

1 UAE (13)

2 Ireland (15)

3 Oman (18)

4 Hong Kong (19)

5 Canada (24)

6 Jersey (25)

7 Nigeria (38)

Updated: September 3, 2019 05:37 PM

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