ICC seeks development of minor cricketing nations


Cricket’s governing body Monday announced multi-format fixtures later this month as part of it’s ongoing commitment to developing international cricket at all levels.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said various minor nations will compete against Pakistan and England across the United Arab Emirates to prepare for next year’s World Twenty20 in India, the ICC Intercontinental Cup and the World Cricket League Championship.

ICC chief executive David Richardson said matches will help minor nations to progress.

“November promises to be an exciting month for cricket followers across the UAE,” an ICC release quoted Richardson as saying.

“The matches to be played involving our top Associate members are part of ICC’s commitment to developing more competitive teams at the highest level.

“In addition the T20 matches will provide important preparation for the teams who have qualified for the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016,” said Richardson of the World Twenty2o to be held from March 11-April 3.

Pakistan will face Nepal and Hong Kong, while Hong Kong and UAE will play against England, in warm-up games.

UAE head coach Aqib Javed is excited at the prospect.

!November presents a great opportunity for UAE cricket,!, said Aqib, a former Pakistan paceman.

“After a tough few weeks in the UK and Ireland, we feel as though we’re moving in the right direction.

“We have full-time contracts in place for the first time and a full-time selection panel. And the chance to play a two-day match against Pakistan is a brilliant opportunity.”

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis, whose side will face Nepal in a 50-over clash in Abu Dhabi on November 8 and Hong Kong in a 20-over tie at the ICC Academy on November, 23 believes these are an important couple of games.

“It is clear to see the great strides that are being made among the emerging teams in world cricket,” the Pakistan coach said.

“We are excited to face Nepal and Hong Kong as they are relatively new opponents, but we know that they have a lot of quality individually and collectively.”

Waqar said all major countries must contribute towards the development of the game.

“Pakistan understands and embraces its responsibility to assist developing nations and we are excited by the opportunity to do so in the UAE this month,” said Waqar.

After the Tests, Pakistan and England will play four one-day internationals and three Twenty20 games — also in UAE.