Michael Clarke hails the crowd at Sharjah after making 50 runs during the ODI against Afghanistan.
Michael Clarke hails the crowd at Sharjah after making 50 runs during the ODI against Afghanistan.

South Africans dominate ICC Test team of the year selection



COLOMBO // Australia captain Michael Clarke was named skipper of the International Cricket Council Test team of the year dominated by South Africans.

South African fast bowler Dale Steyn figures in the team for the fifth year in a row, with teammates Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and Vernon Philander also making the grade.

A fifth South African, AB de Villiers, was named 12th man.

The team, picked by a five-member panel and taking into account performances in a 12-month period that ended on August 6, was announced by the world governing body in Colombo.

Amla, Kallis and Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara were picked for the third successive year, while the England duo of Stuart Broad and newly appointed Test skipper Alastair Cook appear for the second year in a row.

Former West Indies skipper Clive Lloyd, who chaired the panel, said it was a tough job picking the side.

"The team has a strong batting line-up, while the bowlers are a tough combination of pace and spin who could dismiss any line-up on any surface," Lloyd said in an ICC statement.

"The selectors did utilise a vast amount of statistics from the period under observation, but we also took into account all other factors like the opposition, pitch conditions, match situation etc.

"But when you have only 12 places to fill from a big group of world-class players, there will always be a few who will miss out."

ICC chief executive David Richardson, who announced the line-up, added: "Those selected can be justifiably proud of their achievements and are well deserving of the recognition they receive as great cricketers of their era.

"The quality of Test cricket played over the course of the year has been exceptional and I did not envy the selectors in their task of selecting the best.

"Congratulations to those who have made it. They make a formidable team."

ICC Test team of the year

Alastair Cook (ENG), Hashim Amla (RSA), Kumar Sangakkara (SRI), Jacques Kallis (RSA), Michael Clarke (AUS - capt), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WIS), Matt Prior (ENG - wicketkeeper), Stuart Broad (ENG), Saeed Ajmal (PAK), Vernon Philander (RSA), Dale Steyn (RSA). 12th man: AB de Villiers (RSA)

Navdeep Suri, India's Ambassador to the UAE

There has been a longstanding need from the Indian community to have a religious premises where they can practise their beliefs. Currently there is a very, very small temple in Bur Dubai and the community has outgrown this. So this will be a major temple and open to all denominations and a place should reflect India’s diversity.

It fits so well into the UAE’s own commitment to tolerance and pluralism and coming in the year of tolerance gives it that extra dimension.

What we will see on April 20 is the foundation ceremony and we expect a pretty broad cross section of the Indian community to be present, both from the UAE and abroad. The Hindu group that is building the temple will have their holiest leader attending – and we expect very senior representation from the leadership of the UAE.

When the designs were taken to the leadership, there were two clear options. There was a New Jersey model with a rectangular structure with the temple recessed inside so it was not too visible from the outside and another was the Neasden temple in London with the spires in its classical shape. And they said: look we said we wanted a temple so it should look like a temple. So this should be a classical style temple in all its glory.

It is beautifully located - 30 minutes outside of Abu Dhabi and barely 45 minutes to Dubai so it serves the needs of both communities.

This is going to be the big temple where I expect people to come from across the country at major festivals and occasions.

It is hugely important – it will take a couple of years to complete given the scale. It is going to be remarkable and will contribute something not just to the landscape in terms of visual architecture but also to the ethos. Here will be a real representation of UAE’s pluralism.

Story behind the UAE flag

The UAE flag was first unveiled on December 2, 1971, the day the UAE was formed. 

It was designed by Abdullah Mohammed Al Maainah, 19, an Emirati from Abu Dhabi. 

Mr Al Maainah said in an interview with The National in 2011 he chose the colours for local reasons. 

The black represents the oil riches that transformed the UAE, green stands for fertility and the red and white colours were drawn from those found in existing emirate flags.

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This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

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Du Football Champions

The fourth season of du Football Champions was launched at Gitex on Wednesday alongside the Middle East’s first sports-tech scouting platform.“du Talents”, which enables aspiring footballers to upload their profiles and highlights reels and communicate directly with coaches, is designed to extend the reach of the programme, which has already attracted more than 21,500 players in its first three years.

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Ms Davison came to Dubai from Kerala after her marriage in 1996 when she was 21-years-old

Since 2001, Ms Davison has worked at many affordable schools such as Our Own English High School in Sharjah, and The Apple International School and Amled School in Dubai

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