Rizwan’s first assignment will be the Asia Cup Qualifier, which is set to run from August 20 to 24 in Al Amerat. UAE are among the four teams taking part in the Qualifier, from which the winner will go through to join Full Members Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the main tournament, which begins on August 27.
UAE revealed the decision to move to split captaincy in a media release announcing the squad for the Asia Cup Qualifier. The release suggested that the selection committee had reviewed the team’s recent ODI performances and decided to appoint captains with “sole-format focus” in order to create a “strong leadership succession plan”.
Raza is UAE’s most successful captain in T20Is. The team has won 18 of its 27 matches under him, most recently securing a place at the T20 World Cup by winning Qualifier A in Al Amerat in February. UAE’s win in the final of that tournament (https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/icc-men-s-t20-world-cup-qualifier-a-2021-22-1299556/ireland-vs-united-arab-emirates-final-1299585/full-scorecard) was the fifth straight time they had beaten Ireland in T20Is.
Rizwan, who takes over from Raza, has only played seven T20Is, in which he has scored 100 runs at an average of 16.66 and a strike rate of 101.01. He was not part of the UAE XI in their last 10 T20Is, and his last match in that format came in October 2021.
“UAE’s T20 game is in good-standing and has exceptional depth,” the release said. “This strategy comes at the optimal time to assess what is best for this format moving into the (ICC T20) World Cup and beyond. UAE’s High Performance unit believes this presents a solid opportunity to consider and open-up all options – player make-up and Captaincy – to take the game forward.
“Therefore, Ahmed Raza will continue as the UAE’s ODI (50-over format) Captain, where it is anticipated that, under his guidance and experience, UAE’s ODI performance will reap the benefits of his knowledge to create a winning-culture, while CP Rizwan has been named T20 Captain for the upcoming Asia Cup campaign.”
UAE team for Asia Cup Qualifier: C P Rizwan (capt), Chirag Suri, Muhammad Waseem, Vriitya Aravind, Ahmed Raza, Basil Hameed, Rohan Mustafa, Kashif Daud, Karthik Meiyappan, Zahoor Khan, Zawar Farid, Alishan Sharafu, Sabir Ali, Aryan Lakra, Sultan Ahmad, Junaid Siddique, Fahad Nawaz.