Australia to play their first ever official game against UAE
A huge opportunity awaits the United Arab Emirates, as they are going to play their their first ever official game against Australia next week after their tour match ahead of the Pakistan T20 series was granted full international status.
Ahead of their three-match T20 series against Pakistan in the UAE, Australia will try to tune themselves up with a one-off T20 battle against the host nation at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium complex in Abu Dhabi on October 22.
UAE, currently ranked 13th on the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 rankings, have so far played 72 games since 1994 and also taken part in two World Cups. Still, Australia are the only Test-playing team that the UAE have yet to play an official cricket match against.
The last time Australia and the UAE faced each other was an unofficial 2015 World Cup warm-up match at the MCG that saw the return of Michael Clarke from injury, with his team sailing to a victory by 188 runs.
Accoring to the Emirates Cricket Board selector chief Waleed Bukhati, the game will give his side some much-needed game-time against a leading international team.
“This match will provide an exceptionally good test for our players,” Bukhati said. “We need them to be put under pressure and for them to focus more intently by being challenged by higher ranked, leading teams within our game.
“To do so it is vitally important for the full member countries, and the ICC to support and provide the Associates with such opportunities.”
Though the UAE will not be a part of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 since the ICC reduced the number of participants from 16 teams to 10, they regained their ODI status earlier this year while playing in a qualifier competition in Zimbabwe.