UAE Under-19 cricketers for tour of Malaysia selected

Coach Aaqib Javed seeking fresh blood for senior team after missing out on World Twenty20

Yodhin Punja, a UAE under 19 cricket player, is photographed at The Fairgounds Oval in Dubai on April 9, 2015. Sarah Dea / The National
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Coach seeking fresh blood for senior team

DUBAI // The UAE’s top emerging cricketers will get a chance to press their case for promotion to the senior set-up when the Under 19 side tours Malaysia this month.

Waruna Perera was named on Wednesday as captain of the age-group side heading to Kuala Lumpur for the ACC Under 19 Premier League.

The 50-over tournament starts on August 28 and also involves Afghanistan, Nepal, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.

Coach Aaqib Javed, who will oversee the tour, has indicated the senior national team is due for some new blood.

Aaqib was disappointed by listless displays in two summer tours to the UK and Ireland, and he pointed out the side that has enjoyed so much success in recent years is showing signs of ageing.

The tour to Malaysia provides an opportunity for the leading teenaged players to advertise their talents.

A number of the squad are already known to the senior management. The all-rounders Yodhin Punja and Ahsan Ali both featured in extended training squads ahead of the two most recent tours.

Moiz Qazi, an off-spinning all-rounder from Abu Dhabi, was also part of the tour party at the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh last year. Ahmed Jasim, an Emirati all-rounder, is included for the first time.

“This is a great opportunity for the next generation of UAE representative players to compete against teams of the same skill level on an international stage,” said David East, the Emirates Cricket Board chief executive.

“We are confident they will play competitively in the tournament and wish them well.”

UAE squad for ACC Under 19 Premier League in Malaysia

Waruna Perera (captain), Yodhin Punja, Ahsan Ali, Atharva Kavi, Naseer Uddin, Abdullah Asif, Riyan Mohammed, Mohammed Afsal, Moiz Qazi, Sachin Jha, Ahmed Jasim, Ethan Holmes, Zafri Zafardeen, Kulith Rabel

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