UAE coach Murali Sockalingam says qualifying for Women's World T20 is only target that have

Denzil Pinto 18:16 18/05/2018
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Next stop: Netherlands. The UAE will be captained by Humaira Tasneem (c)

UAE head coach Murali Sockalingam insists reaching the Women’s World Twenty20 is the only target they have in mind after the squad was announced for the qualifying tournament later this year.

The Emirates Cricket Board revealed the 14-person squad on Thursday for the World T20 Qualifier in Netherlands that will be held between July 3 to 14.

Humaira Tasneem will captain the side with former Sri Lankan international Chamani Seneviratne among four new faces called up that did not feature at the Asian Qualifiers in November.

The UAE have a tough task of claiming the two automatic spots for the showpiece event in West Indies with Bangladesh, Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Thailand and Uganda also competing.

However, Sockalingam believes there is enough balance in the squad that can cause problems for the opposition.

“UAE cricket continues to grow and the players have also worked very hard on their performances by playing a lot of domestic cricket,” he said, whose side has been drawn alongside Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and Netherlands.

“Most of the players have started playing with the boys team as well, so they are getting the experience which is important.

“I’m happy with the squad we have. There is a blend of experience and youth with strong quality and we have a couple of weeks to fine tune our skills. Hopefully we can achieve what we want to achieve and that is to qualify for the World Cup. Only two teams qualify and that is what our target should be.”

The squad is bolstered with the addition of Seneviratne. The 39-year-old brings an array of experience having played one Test, 80 ODIs and 32 T20Is with her last appearance coming in November 2013.

She now works as a coach at Abu Dhabi Cricket and Sockalingam insists having Seneviratne is a big boost for UAE cricket.

“She brings big time experience to the team,” he said. “She has played a Test, ODIs and T20s and brings a lot of knowledge that is very important for us. The youngsters are learning a lot from her. It’s fantastic to have her in the squad and great addition to us.”

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