DHAKA // Amjad Javed, the UAE captain, wants the ICC to consider making it mandatory for leading sides who tour the country to play official limited-overs matches against the national team.
Despite impressing at the Asia Cup in Bangladesh, the UAE lost all their matches against the elite of continental cricket once they qualified for the main phase.
This was the third major event the national team have qualified for in the past two years, after the World Twenty20 and the 50 over World Cup, but they have lost every final phase match.
Amjad believes the side would be better equipped to compete if they had more matches against the top sides outside of the big competitions.
Although international teams regularly tour the emirates to play the exiled Pakistan, the host country only ever get to play practice matches against those sides.
Amjad thinks it would benefit UAE cricket if touring sides, including Pakistan, were obliged to play at least one T20 international and an official one-day match.
More UAE cricket news: UAE bowler Mohammed Naveed backed to land T20 league contract: 'He has got everything'
“Hopefully the ICC can look into this,” Amjad said. “So many teams come to Dubai and use the ICC facilities. If any international teams come there they should play at least one 50 over game and one T20 against us.
“We could really gain a lot of experience from those games and that would really help UAE cricket.”
Qualification for the main part of the Asia Cup was a surprise for a team who are still in the throes of transition.
The game in the UAE is undergoing an overhaul at a variety of levels at present, and the first professional, centrally contracted cricketers are set to be announced this month.
However, Amjad insists the best course for the development of the side remains having more matches against better opposition.
“It is not about contracts,” the captain said. “If you look at the past two years in terms of the UAE’s growth, we have performed very well in terms of qualifying stages.
“I think we should get more international matches with sides like Zimbabwe, Ireland and Bangladesh. These matches really help us get experience of that level.
“If, at some stage in the future, we can qualify again for the Asia Cup, it would make it easier for us. When we have that experience, we can compete.”
Aaqib Javed, the UAE coach, believes his side made a good impression by way of their performances in Bangladesh.
“They have been feeling good and their mindset is very clear,” Aaqib said. “Our motive was to stay brave, to back yourself, and to show people how passionate you are about this game.”
Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE
Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNationalSport