NAPIER: United Arab Emirates allrounder Amjad Javed said his batsmen will not fear facing giant Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Irfan in Wednesday’s World Cup match in Napier.
Irfan, international cricket’s tallest-ever player at a towering 7 feet one inch, tore apart Zimbabwe in Pakistan’s first win of the tournament in Brisbane with figures of 4-30, bowling a series of fierce, short-pitched deliveries in a 20-run win.
But Javed said the UAE are already familiar with the Irfan challenge having come across him during club games in the Gulf.
“Irfan played in Dubai seven years back,” said Javed of the paceman who featured in domestic one-dayers in the UAE before breaking into the Pakistan team in 2010.
“If you have faced a bowler in a domestic match in Dubai before, then it’s okay. If you have not faced anyone, like Dale Steyn, that’s a different matter,” said Javed of the South Africa spearhead who the UAE will face in Wellington on March 12.
Javed said head coach Aaqib Javed and batting coach Mudassar Nazar, who both played for Pakistan at international level, were advising the players on how to negotiate the Irfan threat.
“We are ready for Irfan and are not scared, Aaqib is helping us, batting coach (Mudassar) is helping us.”
Pakistan start as favourites and will also look to boost their net run-rate to increase their chances of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
The top four from each of the two pools of seven teams will qualify for the last-eight.
Pakistan have only one win from three while the UAE have lost all their three matches but Javed insists that the amateurs will not roll over against the 1992 champions having already been brushed aside by India by nine wickets last time out.
“If you saw our first two games we almost upset Ireland and Zimbabwe, we are here to upset some good teams and we will try to do that again,” said Javed.
Javed scored 25 and took one wicket in UAE’s four-wicket defeat against Zimbabwe while he hit 42 and took 3-60 against Ireland who scraped a two-wicket win.
Javed said the fact that nine of the 15 Emirati players were either born in Pakistan or have Pakistani roots will not affect team’s performance.
“I think we are representing UAE,” said Javed, who was born in Dubai to Pakistani parents. “It doesn’t matter if we are Pakistani and playing against Pakistan, we will give hundred percent.”
Javed said every defeat is helping the UAE learn new lessons about the game at the top level.
“Every loss makes you learn and after every game we learn some things so we go back and plan and hope that our batting doesn’t collapse against Pakistan, like it did against India,” said Javed of the game in which they were bowled out for 102 in just 31.3 overs.
Like every other Associate or non-Test side, Javed feels the UAE needs more exposure against the major nations.
“You have to keep playing the big teams after the World Cup. This World Cup will give us good exposure and a big boost and after this event the ICC (International Cricket Council) should give us more matches with the major teams.” -AFP