SHARJAH // The UAE barely had time to toast the arrival of a new gem, Qadar Nawaz, last night when it emerged Amjad Javed, their pyrotechnical all-rounder, had fractured a hand and will miss the forthcoming World Twenty20 qualifier. Nawaz, a Dubai-based salesman, shone on his first day as an international cricketer, taking four wickets to set up a landslide win over Uganda at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
However, joy over the nine-wicket success, secured with more than 44 overs remaining, was sullied by news that Javed, the big-hitting opener and seam bowler, will miss the qualification tournament, which starts on February 9. It is wretched luck for the Emirates airline baggage handler, who barely even flinched when he was struck while in his bowling follow-through by a fearsome drive from Lawrence Sematimba.
Even though he continued to bowl with little visible effects, a fracture was later revealed. Mohammed Tauqir, the veteran off-spinner, is also an unlikely starter, after having a pin inserted to repair a break in his hand following a similar incident in a club match. Colin Wells, the national team head coach, remained optimistic. "We are down two senior bowlers, which would handicap any squad, but I am still happy we can respond in the right way and produce the goods," he said.
The national team now begin a run of four warm-up Twenty20 matches ahead of their qualifier opener against Kenya, starting with Uganda in Dubai today. Spirits remain high thanks to the heroics of Nawaz, who had enjoyed a brisk rise into the international fold after he was spotted playing in a local Twenty20 tournament. "It was a dream debut, but we have some good sides in front of us," said Wells. @Email:email@example.com