UAE begin post-Khurram Khan era against Kenya in ICC World Cricket League Championship

After a stuttering start to their new season, losing to Ireland by an inning and 26 runs in the four-day Intercontinental Cup earlier in the month, the UAE are aiming to bounce back against Kenya.

Saqib Ali, left, believes UAE's experience against Ireland will hold them in good stead when they face Kenya. Pawan Singh / The National
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After a stuttering start to their new season, losing to Ireland by an inning and 26 runs in the four-day Intercontinental Cup earlier in the month, the UAE aim to bounce back against Kenya.

They face Kenya in the first of two 50 over-a-side ICC World Cricket League Championship matches on Thursday at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

The second game is on Saturday at the same venue.

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The two matches against Kenya will be another tough test for the UAE to get their confidence back ahead of the upcoming World Twenty20 Qualifier starting from July 9, with their first game against Scotland.

It is their first game without Khurram Khan, 44, the prolific batsman and long-standing captain, who ended his international career after 14 years, following the defeat to Ireland.

Saqib Ali, who was recalled to the side having been dropped from the World Cup earlier in the year, said their visit to Ireland will help them deal with the weather conditions when they face Kenya on the South coast of England.

“It was very cold and windy when we last played in Ireland. We had to keep our hands in the pockets all the time,” said Saqib before his departure from Abu Dhabi.

“It was difficult for us to get adapted to those conditions and our performances suffered as a result.

“So we would expect similar conditions, and perhaps that experience of playing in Ireland earlier this month can help overcome those setbacks when we play Kenya.”

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