Dambulla: India launch their Asia Cup campaign against UAE on Friday, determined not only to get into early rhythm but also to carry their successful run into a new season.
The day-night group B match could be a cakewalk for India but Sourav Ganguly and John Wright are not taking it lightly. They are looking to start afresh and get into form quickly, after a long break.
UAE have three youngsters — Syed Fawad Mohammed, Ramveer Raj and Abdul Rehman — who all are below 17. Arshad Ali and Asim Saeed are the likely openers. Ali Asad is their main medium-pacer and is supported by Saeed and Maqsood.
If dismissing the world’s best batsman is not an incentive in itself, the UAE bowler to get rid of Sachin Tendulkar will be rewarded $1000.
According to Khuram, an official has promised the amount to the bowler who claims the prize wicket of the most successful ODI batsman.
UAE are looking to take a leaf out of Euro 2004 winners Greece’s book. “If Greece could do it, anyone can,” Khuram said.
Bangladesh will face Hong Kong in the other match on the opening day — a group A day fixture in Colombo.
UAE TEAM (from)
Khuram Khan (captain), Mohammed Tauqir (vice-captain), Ali Asad Abbas, Arshad Ali, Asghar Ali, Asim Saeed, Fahad Usman, Naeemudin, Ramveer Rai, Rizwan Latif, Sameer Zia, Syed Maqsood, Syed Fawad Mohammed, Abdul Rehman.
Umpires: Billy Doctrove (West Indies), Ian Howell (South Africa). Third umpire: Gamini Silva (Sri Lanka). Match Referee: Mike Procter. (Agencies)