UAE’s Rameez Shahzad picked up well the leg-spin of Yasir Shah, above, in a practice game, but he also conceded his googly deliveries were the most difficult to play. Francois Nel / Getty Images
UAE’s Rameez Shahzad picked up well the leg-spin of Yasir Shah, above, in a practice game, but he also conceded his googly deliveries were the most difficult to play. Francois Nel / Getty Images

UAE’s Rameez Shahzad offers pointers to England to handle Pakistan spinners



ABU DHABI // England’s success or failure in this series in the UAE might rest largely on how they combat Yasir Shah, Pakistan’s leg-spin revelation.

If their batsmen needed any pointers, they might have been advised to attend the practice match on Saturday between a UAE select XI and Pakistan, when a Sharjah-raised batsman took to Yasir, hitting him for a succession of sixes.

Maybe they could even think about borrowing the man himself altogether.

Farcically, Rameez Shahzad is eligible to play for both Pakistan and England – but not the country he calls home.

The 27-year-old batsman, who retired after scoring 55 against Pakistan’s Test side in the warm-up match, was born in Lahore.

His parents had lived together in the UAE for five years previously, though, and he was brought back to Sharjah when he was just a month old.

He has lived here his entire life – other than when he went to England’s north-east for university – and played representative cricket at age-group and senior level for the country.

If any further testimony as to the depth of his commitment were required, his father Shahzad Altaf also played for the national team, at the 1996 World Cup. They remain the only father-son combination to have done so to date.

And yet Rameez has been ruled out of playing for the country for years, on account of the time he spent studying in the UK.

Aaqib Javed, the UAE coach, is incredulous about being denied the services of a player who is so clearly a product of the UAE.

“He has grown up here, studied here, played youth cricket for UAE at under 16, under 19,” Aaqib said.

“Then he went to England for his studies and played for Durham second XI [with and against current England tourists Ben Stokes, Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett].

“Then when he came back, ICC rules said he had to restart his qualifications. I don’t understand it.

ALSO READ

“This is unfair to the guy. In nine months he will be available again to the UAE, and that is really hopeful for us.”

Rameez, too, is excited over his future prospects, with the elite game here becoming increasingly professional.

“With Aaqib in the set up, there is hope for UAE cricket,” Rameez said. “With that in mind, all the players are pushing really hard.

“At this point in my life, it is not just about me playing an ODI and being happy with that. I want to do really well, push ahead and further my career.

“I resigned from my job because, to be honest, I am not a banker. The only thing I know is to play cricket, the way my father taught me.”

Given his outstanding performance with the bat against Pakistan’s Test side at the weekend, maybe the land of his birth might be interested in Rameez’s services.

They are not averse to picking players of Pakistani origin who spent their formative years in the Arabian Gulf, after all.

Shan Masood, the likely opener against England, was born in Kuwait, before his family relocated after the onset of war.

Aaqib says Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s captain, was impressed by Rameez.

“Rameez really smashed Yasir Shah, and hit Imran Khan, the fast bowler, straight back over his head for six,” Aaqib said.

“He was dominating, and Misbah said, ‘This guy can bat, this is your future.’ He has got talent, but when you go to Pakistan, it is not only about talent – it is about luck. There are so many players. He is already 27, and I think it is a bit late for him. If he was 17, he could take a risk, go back to Pakistan and prove a point.”

And if Stokes, Plunkett or Wood were to seek out their one time colleague for some tips on how to play Yasir, Rameez does have a few.

“His googlies are not that easy to play because he bowls it quicker than other spinners, so you don’t have much time to see it,” he said.

“But the most difficult bowler to face was Zulfiqar Babar, without a doubt. I have faced quite a few left-arm spinners, but nobody like him.”

pradley@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter at NatSportUAE

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Company profile

Date started: 2015

Founder: John Tsioris and Ioanna Angelidaki

Based: Dubai

Sector: Online grocery delivery

Staff: 200

Funding: Undisclosed, but investors include the Jabbar Internet Group and Venture Friends

W.
Wael Kfoury
(Rotana)

Where to donate in the UAE

The Emirates Charity Portal

You can donate to several registered charities through a “donation catalogue”. The use of the donation is quite specific, such as buying a fan for a poor family in Niger for Dh130.

The General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments

The site has an e-donation service accepting debit card, credit card or e-Dirham, an electronic payment tool developed by the Ministry of Finance and First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Al Noor Special Needs Centre

You can donate online or order Smiles n’ Stuff products handcrafted by Al Noor students. The centre publishes a wish list of extras needed, starting at Dh500.

Beit Al Khair Society

Beit Al Khair Society has the motto “From – and to – the UAE,” with donations going towards the neediest in the country. Its website has a list of physical donation sites, but people can also contribute money by SMS, bank transfer and through the hotline 800-22554.

Dar Al Ber Society

Dar Al Ber Society, which has charity projects in 39 countries, accept cash payments, money transfers or SMS donations. Its donation hotline is 800-79.

Dubai Cares

Dubai Cares provides several options for individuals and companies to donate, including online, through banks, at retail outlets, via phone and by purchasing Dubai Cares branded merchandise. It is currently running a campaign called Bookings 2030, which allows people to help change the future of six underprivileged children and young people.

Emirates Airline Foundation

Those who travel on Emirates have undoubtedly seen the little donation envelopes in the seat pockets. But the foundation also accepts donations online and in the form of Skywards Miles. Donated miles are used to sponsor travel for doctors, surgeons, engineers and other professionals volunteering on humanitarian missions around the world.

Emirates Red Crescent

On the Emirates Red Crescent website you can choose between 35 different purposes for your donation, such as providing food for fasters, supporting debtors and contributing to a refugee women fund. It also has a list of bank accounts for each donation type.

Gulf for Good

Gulf for Good raises funds for partner charity projects through challenges, like climbing Kilimanjaro and cycling through Thailand. This year’s projects are in partnership with Street Child Nepal, Larchfield Kids, the Foundation for African Empowerment and SOS Children's Villages. Since 2001, the organisation has raised more than $3.5 million (Dh12.8m) in support of over 50 children’s charities.

Noor Dubai Foundation

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the Noor Dubai Foundation a decade ago with the aim of eliminating all forms of preventable blindness globally. You can donate Dh50 to support mobile eye camps by texting the word “Noor” to 4565 (Etisalat) or 4849 (du).

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Tips from the expert

Dobromir Radichkov, chief data officer at dubizzle and Bayut, offers a few tips for UAE residents looking to earn some cash from pre-loved items.

  1. Sellers should focus on providing high-quality used goods at attractive prices to buyers.
  2. It’s important to use clear and appealing photos, with catchy titles and detailed descriptions to capture the attention of prospective buyers.
  3. Try to advertise a realistic price to attract buyers looking for good deals, especially in the current environment where consumers are significantly more price-sensitive.
  4. Be creative and look around your home for valuable items that you no longer need but might be useful to others.
The biog

Name: Abeer Al Shahi

Emirate: Sharjah – Khor Fakkan

Education: Master’s degree in special education, preparing for a PhD in philosophy.

Favourite activities: Bungee jumping

Favourite quote: “My people and I will not settle for anything less than first place” – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

Founders: Abdulmajeed Alsukhan, Turki Bin Zarah and Abdulmohsen Albabtain.

Based: Riyadh

Offices: UAE, Vietnam and Germany

Founded: September, 2020

Number of employees: 70

Sector: FinTech, online payment solutions

Funding to date: $116m in two funding rounds  

Investors: Checkout.com, Impact46, Vision Ventures, Wealth Well, Seedra, Khwarizmi, Hala Ventures, Nama Ventures and family offices

Grand slam winners since July 2003

Who has won major titles since Wimbledon 2003 when Roger Federer won his first grand slam

Roger Federer 19 (8 Wimbledon, 5 Australian Open, 5 US Open, 1 French Open)

Rafael Nadal 16 (10 French Open, 3 US Open, 2 Wimbledon, 1 Australian Open)

Novak Djokovic 12 (6 Australian Open, 3 Wimbledon, 2 US Open, 1 French Open)

Andy Murray 3 (2 Wimbledon, 1 US Open)

Stan Wawrinka 3 (1 Australian Open, 1 French Open, 1 US Open)

Andy Roddick 1 (1 US Open)

Gaston Gaudio 1 (1 French Open)

Marat Safin 1 (1 Australian Open)

Juan Martin del Potro 1 (1 US Open)

Marin Cilic 1 (1 US Open)

If you go

The flights

Emirates flies from Dubai to Seattle from Dh5,555 return, including taxes. Portland is a 260 km drive from Seattle and Emirates offers codeshare flights to Portland with its partner Alaska Airlines.

The car

Hertz (www.hertz.ae) offers compact car rental from about $300 per week, including taxes. Emirates Skywards members can earn points on their car hire through Hertz.

Parks and accommodation

For information on Crater Lake National Park, visit www.nps.gov/crla/index.htm . Because of the altitude, large parts of the park are closed in winter due to snow. While the park’s summer season is May 22-October 31, typically, the full loop of the Rim Drive is only possible from late July until the end of October. Entry costs $25 per car for a day. For accommodation, see www.travelcraterlake.com. For information on Umpqua Hot Springs, see www.fs.usda.gov and https://soakoregon.com/umpqua-hot-springs/. For Bend, see https://www.visitbend.com/.

RESULTS

6.30pm: Maiden (TB) Dh 82,500 (Dirt) 1.600m
Winner: Miller’s House, Richard Mullen (jockey), Satish Seemar (trainer).

7.05pm: Maiden (TB) Dh 82,500 (D) 2,000m
Winner: Kanood, Adrie de Vries, Fawzi Nass.

7.50pm: Handicap (TB) Dh 82,500 (D) 1,600m
Winner: Gervais, Sandro Paiva, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

8.15pm: The Garhoud Sprint Listed (TB) Dh 132,500 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Important Mission, Royston Ffrench, Salem bin Ghadayer.

8.50pm: The Entisar Listed (TB) Dh 132,500 (D) 2,000m
Winner: Firnas, Xavier Ziani, Salem bin Ghadayer.

9.25pm: Conditions (TB) Dh 120,000 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Zhou Storm, Connor Beasley, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

Meatless Days
Sara Suleri, with an introduction by Kamila Shamsie
​​​​​​​Penguin 

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Diriyah project at a glance

- Diriyah’s 1.9km King Salman Boulevard, a Parisian Champs-Elysees-inspired avenue, is scheduled for completion in 2028
- The Royal Diriyah Opera House is expected to be completed in four years
- Diriyah’s first of 42 hotels, the Bab Samhan hotel, will open in the first quarter of 2024
- On completion in 2030, the Diriyah project is forecast to accommodate more than 100,000 people
- The $63.2 billion Diriyah project will contribute $7.2 billion to the kingdom’s GDP
- It will create more than 178,000 jobs and aims to attract more than 50 million visits a year
- About 2,000 people work for the Diriyah Company, with more than 86 per cent being Saudi citizens

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Company profile

Name: Yodawy
Based: Egypt
Founders: Karim Khashaba, Sherief El-Feky and Yasser AbdelGawad
Sector:
HealthTech
Total funding: $24.5 million
Investors: Algebra Ventures, Global Ventures, MEVP and Delivery Hero Ventures, among others
Number of employees:
500

The Dictionary of Animal Languages
Heidi Sopinka
​​​​​​​Scribe

Results

7pm: Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (Dirt) 1,600m; Winner: RB Kings Bay, Abdul Aziz Al Balushi (jockey), Helal Al Alawi (trainer)

7.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh 70,000 (D) 1,600m; Winner: AF Ensito, Fernando Jara, Mohamed Daggash

8pm: Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 1,400m; Winner: AF Sourouh, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel

8.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 1,800m; Winner: Baaher, Fabrice Veron, Eric Lemartinel

9pm: Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 2,000m; Winner: Mootahady, Antonio Fresu, Eric Lemartinel

9.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh70,000 (D) 2,000m; Winner: Dubai Canal, Tadhg O’Shea, Satish Seemar

10pm: Al Ain Cup – Prestige (PA) Dh100,000 (D) 2,000m; Winner: Harrab, Bernardo Pinheiro, Majed Al Jahouri

Citizenship-by-investment programmes

United Kingdom

The UK offers three programmes for residency. The UK Overseas Business Representative Visa lets you open an overseas branch office of your existing company in the country at no extra investment. For the UK Tier 1 Innovator Visa, you are required to invest £50,000 (Dh238,000) into a business. You can also get a UK Tier 1 Investor Visa if you invest £2 million, £5m or £10m (the higher the investment, the sooner you obtain your permanent residency).

All UK residency visas get approved in 90 to 120 days and are valid for 3 years. After 3 years, the applicant can apply for extension of another 2 years. Once they have lived in the UK for a minimum of 6 months every year, they are eligible to apply for permanent residency (called Indefinite Leave to Remain). After one year of ILR, the applicant can apply for UK passport.

The Caribbean

Depending on the country, the investment amount starts from $100,000 (Dh367,250) and can go up to $400,000 in real estate. From the date of purchase, it will take between four to five months to receive a passport. 

Portugal

The investment amount ranges from €350,000 to €500,000 (Dh1.5m to Dh2.16m) in real estate. From the date of purchase, it will take a maximum of six months to receive a Golden Visa. Applicants can apply for permanent residency after five years and Portuguese citizenship after six years.

“Among European countries with residency programmes, Portugal has been the most popular because it offers the most cost-effective programme to eventually acquire citizenship of the European Union without ever residing in Portugal,” states Veronica Cotdemiey of Citizenship Invest.

Greece

The real estate investment threshold to acquire residency for Greece is €250,000, making it the cheapest real estate residency visa scheme in Europe. You can apply for residency in four months and citizenship after seven years.

Spain

The real estate investment threshold to acquire residency for Spain is €500,000. You can apply for permanent residency after five years and citizenship after 10 years. It is not necessary to live in Spain to retain and renew the residency visa permit.

Cyprus

Cyprus offers the quickest route to citizenship of a European country in only six months. An investment of €2m in real estate is required, making it the highest priced programme in Europe.

Malta

The Malta citizenship by investment programme is lengthy and investors are required to contribute sums as donations to the Maltese government. The applicant must either contribute at least €650,000 to the National Development & Social Fund. Spouses and children are required to contribute €25,000; unmarried children between 18 and 25 and dependent parents must contribute €50,000 each.

The second step is to make an investment in property of at least €350,000 or enter a property rental contract for at least €16,000 per annum for five years. The third step is to invest at least €150,000 in bonds or shares approved by the Maltese government to be kept for at least five years.

Candidates must commit to a minimum physical presence in Malta before citizenship is granted. While you get residency in two months, you can apply for citizenship after a year.

Egypt 

A one-year residency permit can be bought if you purchase property in Egypt worth $100,000. A three-year residency is available for those who invest $200,000 in property, and five years for those who purchase property worth $400,000.

Source: Citizenship Invest and Aqua Properties

UAE SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Ali Khaseif, Fahad Al Dhanhani, Mohammed Al Shamsi, Adel Al Hosani

Defenders: Bandar Al Ahbabi, Shaheen Abdulrahman, Walid Abbas, Mahmoud Khamis, Mohammed Barghash, Khalifa Al Hammadi, Hassan Al Mahrami, Yousef Jaber, Salem Rashid, Mohammed Al Attas, Alhassan Saleh

Midfielders: Ali Salmeen, Abdullah Ramadan, Abdullah Al Naqbi, Majed Hassan, Yahya Nader, Ahmed Barman, Abdullah Hamad, Khalfan Mubarak, Khalil Al Hammadi, Tahnoun Al Zaabi, Harib Abdallah, Mohammed Jumah, Yahya Al Ghassani

Forwards: Fabio De Lima, Caio Canedo, Ali Saleh, Ali Mabkhout, Sebastian Tagliabue, Zayed Al Ameri

ASIAN RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP 2024

Results
Hong Kong 52-5 UAE
South Korea 55-5 Malaysia
Malaysia 6-70 Hong Kong
UAE 36-32 South Korea

Fixtures
Friday, June 21, 7.30pm kick-off: UAE v Malaysia
At The Sevens, Dubai (admission is free).
Saturday: Hong Kong v South Korea

Living in...

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. 

THE HOLDOVERS

Director: Alexander Payne

Starring: Paul Giamatti, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Dominic Sessa

Rating: 4.5/5


Abtal

Keep up with all the Middle East and North Africa athletes at the 2024 Paris Olympics

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      Abtal