Former Pakistan international Kabir Khan is to be the next coach of the UAE, replacing former England international Colin Wells. “I have agreed to take over as UAE coach on a three-year deal and my target will be to help the team to the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in 2012,” said Kabir Khan from his home in Peshawar. He joins UAE after the end of a successful spell with Afghanistan and it is the second time he takes charge in the Emirates, having been there for a short period in 2007, during which the UAE won ICC World Cricket League Division 2.
In his 22 months in charge of Afghanistan from October 2008 to August 2010 the team advanced from a bunch of amateurish big-hitters into a collection of match-savvy professionals, picking up ODI status, a place in this year’s World Twenty20 and most recently third in Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 1. His primary aim for the UAE is to have them qualify for the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka in 2012. UAE, World Cup participants in 1996, have been the Asian development region’s foremost senior team for much of the subsequent period but have recently seen themselves challenged strongly by Hong Kong and fall behind Afghanistan, sometimes just by a whisker but behind nevertheless.
“Kabir has done wonderfully well for Afghanistan,” says Emirates Cricket Board Administrator Mazhar Khan, the day after Kabir signed his contract, “we welcome him back. He’ll be based in Sharjah 24/7 working with the junior and senior players five to six days a week.”
The new qualifying tournament will have the six teams which currently enjoy ODI/T20I status (Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands, Scotland), plus 10 qualifiers from regional Twenty20 events. At the last ACC T20 Cup Afghanistan beat UAE in the Final in Abu Dhabi.
UAE Cricket Profile
Kabir Khan: Advancing Afghanistan
Filed October 4th, 2010