Many could be forgiven for thinking that the Maldives are a one-man team such is the overweening prowess of their captain Moosa Kaleem. He has been the country’s top performer in the past two ACC Emerging Nations Tournaments both of which they have won. He invariably bags wickets but it is the bat with which he is most destructive, once having made 437 runs in three matches in the 2005 event. He is truly a fine cricketer and were he to play cricket at an ever higher level would shine there too.
Kaleem’s performances are all the more remarkable considering that a chronic back-injury has led his doctors to forbid from playing.
Other players are likely to be equally prominent for the Maldives: Ahmed Afzal Faiz is a hard-hitting middle order batsman and enterprising seamer and Mohamed Aflah is an upcoming all-rounder in the Irfan Pathan mould.
They are coached by former Sri Lankan wicket-keeper Brendon Kuruppu.
2004 ACC Trophy: Knocked out at group-stage