Exclusive: UAE captain Alishan Sharafu sets sights on Super ...| MENAFN.COM

Wednesday, 19 January 2022 08:14 GMT

Exclusive: UAE captain Alishan Sharafu sets sights on Super 8 at U-19 World Cup


(MENAFN- Khaleej Times)

Published: Fri 14 Jan 2022, 12:03 AM

Last updated: Fri 14 Jan 2022, 12:21 AM

The Alishan Sharafu-led UAE team will kick off their ICC Under 19 World Cup (January 14-February 5) campaign against Canada in the West Indies on Saturday.

Having beaten Canada in the previous edition of the tournament, the team is confident of producing another solid performance at the Conaree Cricket Centre, the venue in Saint Kitts and Nevis which will host all Group B matches of the tournament

With Test-playing nations England and Bangladesh being the other two teams in Group B of the 16-team tournament, it's imperative for Sharafu's team to get off to a winning start.

“Having played against Canada twice before, they're a good side and they play some hard cricket and I'm pretty sure it'll be a good game,” Sharafu told Khaleej Times from the team's training camp in Saint Kitts and Nevis.

But the UAE will not be content with a sole victory over the Canadians in the tournament.

“We would want to win at least two games and go through to the Super 8's and we strongly believe we can do that if we play to our potential,” the hard-hitting batsman said.

Under 19 captain Alishan Sharafu is a hard-hitting batsman who has already made his senior UAE team debut. (Twitter)

The key to success in the tournament is adapting to conditions in the West Indies.

“We've had a national U-19 camp for a few months now and the preparations have been going well. However, the conditions here in the West Indies are challenging and we've had a few sessions here already and the boys are getting used to it,” Sharafu said.

The World Cup is the UAE's second-straight premier tournament, having played the Under 19 Asia Cup on home soil last month.

After two below-par performances against India and Afghanistan, UAE put up an incredible fight in their last game against Pakistan before going down by 21 runs.

“The last game against Pakistan really hurt because we lost the game from a winning position and for the majority of it we had the game and the bottled it at the end,” Sharafu reflected on that game.

“But it (that match against the formidable Pakistan team) gave the boys some belief that if we play good cricket and (if we play) to our potential then we can beat any top side.”

This will be Sharafu's second-straight appearance at the Under 19 World Cup. And the aggressive batsman is relishing the chance to lead the team at an event as prestigious as the World Cup.

“Personally it's a great honour and huge responsibility that I've enjoyed so far to lead the team,” he said.

“Hopefully together we can achieve great things. It's an amazing opportunity to enjoy and overcome these challenges.”

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