Rameez Shahzad is the notable absentee in the latest list of centrally contracted national team players.
The Emirates Cricket Board announced on Thursday that 20 players had been given annual deals, on the same day a four-match one-day international series against Ireland was confirmed.
In a rare instance of the UAE hosting matches against a Test-playing country, the national team will face Ireland on January 8, 10, 12 and 14. The matches will be livestreamed.
Ten players, including long-serving senior players like Ahmed Raza, Rohan Mustafa and Mohammed Usman, have been handed full-time contracts.
A further 10 more will be on part-time retainers. That includes seven players aged 22 or younger, as the ECB seeks to harness the emergence of a highly talented generation of home-raised players.
There is no place, though, for Rameez, who is the batsman with the highest average in one-day international cricket history for the UAE.
The 33-year-old batsman averages 53.15 in his career in the 50-over format, and has an ODI century against the West Indies to his name.
He has not played an ODI since 2018 due to both injury and personal issues, but remains a force within the game here, as proved with his form for Ajman in the Emirates D20.
“The selection committee is delighted with the number of young and enthusiastic players we identified for this group,” Dr Tayeb Kamali, the selection committee chairman, was quoted as saying.
“Every one of them bring a broad range of complementing skills required to strongly represent the UAE at both the associate and international stages.
“As we eagerly wait for ICC Men’s World Cup 2023 pathway to recommence, opportunities such as the Emirates D10 and Emirates D20 tournaments will help prepare this group into a cohesive and a high-performing team.”
Mubashshir Usmani, the general secretary of the ECB, said the announcement of 20 contracts – the most since the national team officially went professional in 2016 – is noteworthy.
“Such an increase in contracted players' numbers is a very rewarding milestone for our board, and one we are committed to building upon to ensure UAE cricket has a good group players to call on as we move toward restarting a regular playing calendar,” Usmani was quoted as saying.
Vriitya Aravind and Jonathan Figy are also conspicuous by their absence.
The duo represented the national team with distinction at the Under 19 World Cup in South Africa earlier this year.
Both teenagers have excelled since their elevation to the senior team at the end of 2019, too.
However, their absence can be explained by the fact they are full-time students in the UK, with Aravind moving to Loughborough University last term, and Figy attending Leeds University.
The national team will restart their 2023 World Cup qualifying campaign in August, after a hiatus caused by the pandemic.
The side will return to competitive action soon, though, against an Irish side they know well.
“This is a great opportunity for our men’s side to play against a Full Member, one we have a very competitive history with,” Usmani said.
“Both Boards understand the importance of providing opportunities for our players to maintain their competitive edge, at an international level, as we move through these times and prepare for the restart of our international calendars.”
All matches will be played in Abu Dhabi and streamed live online.
The ECB say they will “will review spectator attendance as we move closer to the tournament.”
UAE v Ireland fixtures
1st ODI, Jan 8
2nd ODI, Jan 10
3rd ODI, Jan 12
4th ODI, Jan 14