On this day, April 14, 2017: UAE play two T20 internationals in one day

Shaiman Anwar becomes first T20 centurion for UAE, a record that has become part of his sullied legacy

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Shaiman Anwar achieved plenty in his international career with the UAE, yet always gave the impression he could do so much more.

Now his career has all but ended in shame, maybe those times he underachieved should be viewed in a different light.

In 2015, he became the first UAE batsman to score a World Cup century, giving full vent to his rare skills with 106 in defeat to Ireland, at the Gabba in Brisbane.

Two years later, on this day in 2017, he became the first from the country to ton up in a T20 international, too.

Temperatures at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi topped out at 38 degrees Celsius as UAE played two T20s back-to-back, in the heat of the day, against Papua New Guinea.

Shaiman, though, barely broke sweat as he reached three figures in the morning fixture. He ended on 117 not out from 68 balls, paving the way for a 30-run win for the national team.

In the second match on the same day, PNG were restricted to 128-5, which the hosts chased down by five wickets to sweep the T20 series 3-0.

OK, so the opposition might have been of middling pedigree. But this was no fluke, and Shaiman was no flat-track bully.

At the time, he was above the likes of AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh in the T20 rankings for batsmen, and was on the ascent, too.

But there was always something missing. On average in one-day international cricket, he made scores in excess of 60 on every fourth trip he made to the crease.

And yet his 10 best scores in ODIs – from the 62 he made against Pakistan up to that 106 against Ireland – all ended with the UAE losing the match.

It was a trend that was noted a long way out. “Wonderful batsman as he is, he needs to finish the game,” Mudassar Nazar, the former Pakistan player who was by then the UAE batting coach, said after another Shaiman cameo in 2015.

“He has tons of ability, especially in the one-day game, but he has to finish the game.”

Mudassar was not the only one to express that view. Various coaches despaired of what they felt to be an unfulfilled talent. He was lucky not to be cut from the squad a number of times.

Was there more to it than a short attention-span? Or a lack of understanding for how to take the team across the line? Or just bad luck?

We will never know for sure, but the events of last October certainly provide a different perspective.

Shaiman was one of three UAE players charged with a variety of breaches of cricket’s anti-corruption code, on the eve of their biggest tournament of the year – the World T20 qualifiers.

The game here has been torn apart by the revelations, which also saw Mohammed Naveed and Qadeer Ahmed banned, and three more under investigation.

The final judgement is still some way off, but it is believed Shaiman is not contesting the charges.

Earlier this year, albeit in a difference case, a cricketer from Oman was banned for seven years for a similar charge as Shaiman faces.

He is 41 now, so it is reasonable to assume we have seen the last of him in international cricket. He takes a sullied legacy with him.

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