UAE with a throwback setup; Bangladesh right to be angry – Cricket talking points

UAE cricket's modernisation process has resulted in an incidental throw back to when cricket captains were amateurs, notes Paul Radley.

UAE cricketer Amjad Javed shown during his team's Asia Cup match against Pakistan last month. Munir uz Zaman / AFP / February 29, 2016
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UAE cricket's well-intentioned plans to modernise could bring about an incidental shift to a feature of the game from the distant past.

When the long-awaited list of centrally contracted players are announced, two names are likely to be conspicuous by their absence.

Amjad Javed and Ahmed Raza, who share duties of captaining the national team, will not be among the paid professionals.

There is a good reason. Each have successful careers outside cricket. In the case of Amjad, for example, giving away a job as a cargo load master for Emirates airline when he is nearly 36 years old would hardly be a savvy move.

Read more: Touring nations should play UAE, urges captain Amjad Javed

Also see: UAE's Mohammed Naveed backed to land T20 league contract

Having either as captain will, though, bring to mind a feature of cricket that faded out of English cricket in the 1960s. Namely, having a professional side captained by a player who is technically amateur.

Maybe Amjad and Raza will demand their own dressing room like the captains of industry of cricket’s halcyon era, too, and ask to have their initials listed before their surnames on the scorecard, rather than after.

When does an unsuspicious bowling action suddenly become suspicious?

Chandika Hathurusinghe, the Bangladesh coach, gives the impression of being a polite and even-mannered man – but cross him at your peril.

He is apparently livid about the fact two of his bowlers, Taskin Ahmed and Arafat Sunny, were reported for suspect bowling actions during their opening match of the World Twenty20.

“If they have a concern about my bowlers, I have a concern about their [the ICC’s] actions as well,” Hathurusinghe was quoted as saying. “They have bowled the same way as the last 12 months.”

How true. Were the officials at the Asia Cup earlier this month not ICC sanctioned? Were they watching different bowlers?

Were Taskin and Arafat bowling with pretend actions, ready to unleash their devious real ones on unsuspecting batsmen at the World T20?

Of course not. It is ridiculous they should be subjected to doubt at this stage. There have been plenty of opportunities to flag up suspicions in the past.

Obviously, the officials have to go with what they think is right, but the timing needs to be better managed.

T20 leagues need to look beyond the Test sphere

The body empowered with globalising cricket might be doing its best to do the opposite, but other organisations have missed a trick, too.

The merits of the various Twenty20 leagues around the world are plenty. But adding a function where franchises are forced to look beyond the established nations for recruits would certainly add value.

The Pakistan Super League, for example, could have attracted millions of extra eyeballs at a stroke had it thought about recruiting Paras Khadka, the Nepal captain.

There are a couple of reasons he would have worked as a recruit. Primarily, he is a more than decent all-round cricketer. And, secondly, he would have brought a ready fanbase with him from a country that is in thrall to cricket.

There is so much talent going around beyond the Test sphere. Mohammed Naveed, the UAE seam bowler, has been proposed for a T20 league contract by Aaqib Javed, a sound judge and his coach with UAE.

Having a look beyond the normal borders would be a fine way for leagues to expand their footprints.

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