World Cup dream over for Shadeep Silva after missing UAE’s 30-man squad

UAE selectors not convinced Shadeep could get bowling action cleared by ICC in time for World Cup
The UAE's Shadeep Silva, centre, bowls during a Cricket World Cup qualifying match against the United States in Abu Dhabi on November 24, 2013. Lee Hoagland / The National
The UAE's Shadeep Silva, centre, bowls during a Cricket World Cup qualifying match against the United States in Abu Dhabi on November 24, 2013. Lee Hoagland / The National

DUBAI // Shadeep Silva, the long-serving spinner, is the most notable omission from the UAE’s 30-man preliminary squad for next year’s World Cup.

He is one of three players from the squad that earned qualification at an event in New Zealand earlier this year who failed to make the long list ahead the main event.

Vikrant Shetty, also part of the side who played at the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh in February, and Salman Faris, are the other two to miss out.

Even though Shadeep has been a mainstay of the side for the best part of a decade, he has played in just one official one-day international.

At the 2008 Asia Cup in Pakistan, the Sri Lankan left-armer played against Bangladesh, but he was dropped for the match against the country of his birth.

Since the UAE earned full one-day international status again by qualifying for the World Cup, he has been exiled from duty as doubts persist about his bowling action.

The selectors felt that issue could not be resolved before the UAE start their campaign against Zimbabwe in New Zealand on February 19.

A variety of national team bowlers have incurred suspicion over their delivery method in the recent past.

The 30-man preliminary squad includes four players who have been officially reported.

As the result of biomechanical testing, Nasir Aziz, the off-spinner, and Fayyaz Ahmed, the left-armer, have both been instructed not to bowl doosras.

And Salman Farooq, the off-spinner, and Mohammed Shahzad, a seam-bowling all-rounder, were both reported during the recent series against Afghanistan.

Time is counting against each of them to prove, via an International Cricket Council-accredited biomechanics laboratory, that their elbows do not exceed the permitted 15 degrees of flex when bowling.

Shahzad’s case is the most problematic. The Emirates Cricket Board have informed the ICC that he is physically unable to undergo testing for at least four weeks, after breaking the thumb on his bowling hand while was batting against Afghanistan.

However, he has become so important to the side lately, he will be given as long as possible to prove himself.

Aaqib Javed, the UAE coach, says Shahzad could conceivably play solely as a batsman.

“We are awaiting the ICC call, as they will book the lab [for biomechanical testing],” Aaqib said.

“Salman will be sent as soon as possible, and for Shahzad, we have sent a medical report, because the doctor suggests he can’t bowl for four to six weeks.

“Maybe after four weeks the ICC can arrange his test.

“As coach, I would have no issue selecting him as a batsman, because he has done really well batting at No 3 and that is a really important position.”

The extended list also includes several recent graduates from the UAE’s under 19 team, such as Rohit Singh, Chirag Suri, Ahsan Ali and Umair Ali.

pradley@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter at @SprtNationalUAE

Published: December 12, 2014 04:00 AM

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