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Rohan Mustafa, UAE’s most-capped player, dropped from T20 World Cup squad

The UAE have removed former captain Rohan Mustafa – their most capped player in all formats – from the T20 World Cup squad. The team will be led by CP Rizwan, who was named the captain of the UAE T20I only last month. Ironically, Mustafa had taken the winning points for the UAE against Ireland in the final of the World Cup qualifier.

Mustafa’s dropout means he cannot reach his goal of becoming his country’s first to play three World Cups, having previously represented the UAE at the T20 World Cup in 2014 and the ODI World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in the year after that. His last appearance for the UAE came just a few weeks ago when he played against Kuwait in the T20 Asia Cup Qualifier.

“It was the dream for me because it would mean becoming the first UAE player to play in three World Cups,” Mustafa told The National News.

“It’s going to be a sad moment for me, and I feel like they’re going to miss me a little bit. I felt like I did well in T20Is and was number 8 [in ICC’s allrounder rankings in T20Is] before I stopped looking at these things. I will miss them – and I think they will miss me too – but I will definitely sit down and watch their games and pray they win.”

Vriitya Aravind will be Rizwaan’s substitute for the World Cup, where the UAE will compete in the first round, the precursor to the actual tournament. Aravind was the leading run scorer in the qualifiers held in February this year, with 267 runs at an average of 89 and a strike rate of 154.
“This team has a solid representation of experience and youth,” said Robin Singh, Cricket Director and the head coach of the national teams. “Representing your country is a great pride, and our [coaching] The team is very confident in the maturity and skills of this group of players, and we expect them to surprise a few teams with their performance.”

The UAE has been placed in Group A of the First Round alongside Sri Lanka, the Netherlands and Namibia, from which the top two teams – in addition to the top two from Group B – will make the main round. They will play their first game against the Netherlands in Geelong on October 16, the opening day of the event.

UAE squad: CP Rizwan (capt), Vriitya Aravind (vice capt), Chirag Suri, Muhammad Waseem, Basil Hameed, Aryan Lakra, Zawar Farid, Kashif Daud, Karthik Meiyappan, Ahmed Raza, Zahoor Khan, Junaid Siddique, Sabir Ali, Alishan Sharafu and Aayan Khan

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