UAE gearing up for Pakistan-India gala

Written by Kashif Aziz on April 16th, 2006   (127 views)

Cricket matches between archrivals Pakistan and India are always sell-outs no matter where the games are played.

It’s no different here. Cricket lovers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are getting impatient too. The wait for contest between the Subcontinent’s cricket giants on April 18 and 19 at the state-of-art Sheikh Zayed Stadium here in Abu Dhabi — seems to be never ending.

Their rivalry, in the UAE, is being renewed after a gap of nearly five years. The last tournament held in Sharjah was Cherry Blossom Cup in April 2002 and the teams involved then were Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

Thus it’s a fresh start for cricket in the UAE as it will be the first international tournament to be staged here after the International Cricket Council (ICC) moved its headquarters to Dubai in July 2005.

Talking to Khaleej Times Zakir Hussain Syed, former development manager for cricket in Asia for Asian Cricket Council (ACC) spoke of the upcoming cricket gala in Abu Dhabi. “On current form, India are on top of the game as they are in process of developing a team consisting of youth and experience. Their fielding is as good as Australia or South Africa which this will be big plus for them,” he said.

“Pakistan are full of confidence as they performed well in Sri Lanka winning the one-day and Test series. Mohammed Asif is emerging as a key bowler for Pakistan. He bowled Pakistan to victory in one-dayers and Tests in Sri Lanka,” he added.

“According to Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer Asif is one of those McGrath-like bowlers who bowls a really tight line and length and just gets the ball to go in and out a little.

“But in my opinion Pakistan has found another Fazal Mahmood in Asif.”

“He is even better than Fazal as former great needed bowler-friendly wickets but this young lad can take wickets on any surface as he bowls leg-cutters and off-cutters so accurately and deadly,’’ said Zakir.

“One great advantage for Pakistan is that they believe in themselves.

“They are a united outfit. That’s something we’ve never seen in the history of the game in the country. They are performing well under a calm and cool captain Inzamam-ul-Haq,” Zakir expressed.

“Pakistan can do impossible under impossible conditions as they’ve done in Sri Lanka and the UAE’s cricket-mad community can hope to see the two close contests in Abu Dhabi,” he added.

Source: The News

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Technorati Tags: Pakistan, India, UAE, Abu Dhabi, ICC

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