(MENAFN - The Peninsula) By Fawad Hussain I The Peninsula
Qatar are gearing up for the ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League A, hoping to do well against their higher ranked opponents in the event, which forms part of the qualification pathway to the ICC 2023 Cricket World Cup.
Qatar, under coach Shahid Mehboob, a former Pakistan Test cricketer, will be joined by Canada, Denmark, Malaysia, Singapore and Vanuatu for the tournament to be held from September 16 to 26 in Kuala Lumpur. The Qatari squad will leave tomorrow.
Qatar will open their campaign against Singapore on September 17 and will meet hosts Malaysia in their second match on September 20.
The team, which will be led by Iqbal Chaudhary, will play their next matches against Canada and Denmark on September 22 and 23 respectively. They will meet Vanuatu in their last match on September 26. Matches of the event will be played at Selangor Turf Club and Kinara Oval.
All the participating teams will have their eyes on the title as only the winning side of the round robin tournament will be advancing to a play-off qualifying event, which will take place in 2022.
Qatar have undergone extensive preparations for the tournament during a 45-day camp at Asian Town Cricket Stadium in build up for the tournament. The team also played several practice games during the camp. However, the side is missing several experienced players like former captain Inam
Haq and Tamoor Sajjad, who are not part of the Malaysia-bound squad due to personal reasons.
'It's a tough challenge for us but we are confident of doing well, Qatar vice-captain Rizlan Iqbar told The Peninsula yesterday.
'All the other teams are ranked higher than Qatar in the ICC rankings. But we think we have the potential of beating them.
'Unfortunately, we failed to win the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Asia Region Final (Qualifier) and finished as runners-up, which ended our chances of qualifying for the ICC World T20. The team will do its best to keep hopes alive for the 50-over World Cup, he added.
The Qatar vice-captain said all the players gave their hundred percent in the training camp and the level of fitness of the players has improved.
'The players are in good shape and have shown good form during the practice matches. We are hopeful of achieving the desired result, which is to win the tournament, said Iqbar.
The Cricket World Cup Challenge League has been split into two groups - A and B - with the top team in each group advancing to a play-off tournament.
While Malaysia is hosting the World Cup Challenge League A, the World Cup Challenge League B will be hosted in Hong Kong from November 25 to December 10, this year.
The ICC will pick two qualifying teams, which will join top 7 ranked teams, and hosts India for its showpiece event in 2023.
Qatar vs Singapore (Kinara Oval)
Qatar vs Malaysia (Selangor Turf Club)
Qatar vs Canada (Kinara Oval)
Qatar vs Denmark (Selangor Turf Club)
Qatar vs Vanuatu (Kinara Oval)