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Cricket World Cup Team Preview: UAE hope to surprise the big boys

| 04.02.2015

Number of previous appearances: 1

Last appearance: 1996

Best finish: Group Stage

2014 ODI record: Played 7, Won 4, Lost 3

Pool: B

First 3 fixtures: Zimbabwe, Ireland, India

Coach: Aaqib Javed

Squad: Shahzad, Khurram Khan, Krishna Karate, Manjula Guruge, Mohammed Tauqir (capt), Muhammad Naveed, Nasir Aziz, Roshan Mustafa, Saqlain Haider, Shaiman Anwar, Swapnil Patil.

Top runscorer: Khurram Khan. In November, at the ripe age of 43, Khan became the oldest one-day international centurion when he scored an unbeaten 132 against Afghanistan. That wasn’t a flash in the pan though and the number four led all batsman in the 2014 World Cup qualifier tournament, scoring 581 in eight innings. He’s also scored 50 or more in each of his last six List A games.

Khan-4-2-15Top wicket taker: Manjula Guruge. An opening left-arm bowler who looks to swing the ball at pedestrian pace, Guruge was the UAE’s highest wicket taker at the World Cup qualifier, snaring 16 victims from 65 overs. He has already had success in Australia during his career, taking 6-30 at the WACA against Western Australia during his country’s tour Down Under last September.

Manjula-Guruge-5-2-15Magic man: The entire team. Usually at this point of our World Cup guides we have embedded a video clip to highlight our point. There are very few available of the UAE in action, which will play right into their hands at the tournament. The major nations will know next to nothing about the skills Mohammed Tauqir’s side possess, which plays right into their hands as they look for a second World Cup win.

Pre-tournament storyline: Khan had been the UAE skipper since the summer of 2008, but was ousted by the Emirates Cricket Board in January in favour of Tauqir, who is the same age as his predecessor, but has been far less certain of his place in the side. The thinking behind the decision? To promote an Emirati native to a position of leadership for the World Cup so as to promote the sport to a wider audience back home.

Tournament odds: 1000/1

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.