The ODI encounter between UAE and Ireland on Thursday will be the former’s first against a full member side in 24 years. The national team did play two matches against the Irish at the ICC Academy in Dubai 10 months ago. Ireland and Afghanistan were subsequently promoted from associate to full status – essentially meaning that both sides are eligible to now play Test cricket.
As such, it will be the first time the hosts have faced a side of that rank on home soil in a full ODI since they played matches against India and Pakistan in Sharjah in 1994. Two matches against Ireland, on Thursday and Saturday, will be followed by two more ODIs against Scotland, on January 21 and 23, also at the ICC Academy. The fixtures represent a chance for the side to fine-tune their game ahead of important assignments to follow in the coming months.
UAE are hopeful they will be reunited with Scotland and Ireland later in March, at the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe, which will decide the final two places for the official event in England in 2019.
To reach there, they first have to navigate World Cricket League Division 2, in Namibia next month. Two from that six-team event in Windhoek will reach the final phase of the qualifying process in Zimbabwe.
“We are especially delighted, and encouraged, that a Full Member will be joining us for this series,” Waleed Bukhatir, the Emirates Cricket Board’s chief selector, said as reported by The National.
“Aside from posting victory, our expectations are these ODI games will provide a solid platform for the players to further integrate their fitness and skills work into their playing styles as we move toward our WCL campaign.”
All matches start at 9.30am, at ICC Academy, Dubai. Admission is free
Thursday, January 11 – UAE v Ireland
Saturday, January 13 – UAE v Ireland
Sunday, January 21 – UAE v Scotland
Tuesday, January 23 – UAE v Scotland
Rohan Mustafa (C), Ashfaq Ahmed, Ghulam Shabber, Rameez Shahzad, Mohammed Boota, Mohammed Usman, Adnan Mufti, Shaiman Anwar, Ahmed Raza, Imran Haider, Qadeer Ahmed, Mohammed Naveed, Amir Hayat, Zahoor Khan