UAE head coach Dougie Brown wants to hit the ground running in World T20 Qualifiers

Denzil Pinto 20:02 18/04/2018
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UAE head coach Dougie Brown wants his team to ‘dominate’ and hit the ground running when they begin their road to qualifying for the World Twenty20 in 2020 this weekend.

The national team open their Asian Sub Regional Qualifier campaign on Friday against Qatar as they bid to claim one of the three places that would see them advance to the next qualifying stage.

With hosts Kuwait, Maldives, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain also in the mix, the UAE are strong favourites to win the competition considering they are the top-ranked side.

But, Brown has warned his players to not underestimate any of their opponents.

“We have just come back from a couple of tournaments (World Cricket League Division Two and World Cup Qualifier) where the form guide goes out of the window,” said the 48-year-old.

“What we need to do, is not worry about being favourites or not. We have to go out there and grab the game by the scruff of the neck in every match. That means we have to stay in the game and keep ahead of the game.

“We are a team on paper, will be the form team over there but ultimately if you don’t get your skills right and don’t commit as a team, you’ll end up falling short. It’s a global tournament and you can’t afford to go into the second or third game trying to win them. Every game we have to go out there and try and dominate and that that is what we’ll be trying to achieve.”

The UAE will be playing in the shortest format of the game for the first time in a year with their last T20 match coming in April 2017 when they defeated Papua New Guinea. Since then, they have been playing a majority of 50-over matches in the build-up to last month’s World Cup Qualifier.

But the players have stepped up their preparations in the recently-concluded T20 Inter-Emirate tournament and along with their familiarity with the shortest format, it bodes well for their chances in Kuwait City.

“Since I came over over here full-time, we have spent very little time playing T20 cricket,” said Brown.

“We have spent most of the time trying to get T20 cricket out of the players. It’s a format they play so much of and hopefully that will play into our hands a little bit but there’s a number of good teams that will be out there and try to beat us. We know that and we have to be on top of our game.”

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