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29 November 2023

Dubai Cricket Council honours UAE stalwarts Khurram, Tauqir, Saqib

By Allaam Ousman

Two former UAE captains Khurram Khan and Mohammed Tauqir are set to serve in a newly formed selection committee of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) headed by Waleed Bukhatir.

Former chief selector of the ECB and vice-chairman of Dubai Cricket Council (DCC) Mohammed Redha Abbas revealed this to the media during a felicitation ceremony for three UAE stalwarts on Monday.

"Both are well experienced. They know all our boys and how they play. It is my recommendation," said Redha Abbas who stepped down from the ECB having served as a selector since 1994.

"I am proud to be chief selector when UAE played in the 1996 and 2015 World Cups," said Redha Abbas who has been serving DCC for the past 40 years.

The Dubai Cricket Council on Monday feted Khurram, Tauqir and another former captain Saqib Ali at ceremony held at Redha Abbas’s residence.

Khurram, who was named as the International Cricket Council (ICC) Affiliate and Associate Cricketer of the Year, was felicitated during the function with a cake cutting ceremony attended by DCC chairman Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, Emirates Cricket Council chief executive officer David East, Sharjah Cricket Council’s Waleed Bukhatir and Mansoor Pasha and Abu Dhabi Council’s Inam-Ul-Haq.

"These gentleman have played for the country and given us their time. We are grateful they were here with us and playing for a long time. It was just right to felicitate them for what they have done for cricket," said Falaknaz.

"It is a fantastic achievement by Khurram who is the only player to have played in two World Cups for UAE (1996 and 2015)," he added.

“Receiving this award from the ICC and to be recognised by my own cricket board is a great feeling. I remember the early days when I came to Dubai. I was one among the many who wanted to prove my talent and the domestic cricket here quickly accepted me. I remember those days of struggle and everyone from Hayat Yar Khan, who was then with the Dubai Cricket Council, to Amin Farooq (DCC secretary), Farooq Siddiqui and Falaknaz, have supported me. I am proud today because I feel I have achieved whatever I was striving for in the last 15 years and am very happy that my international career ended on a high,” said Khurram after being honoured.

Saqib Ali was not present to receive DCC’s token of appreciation but Tauqir was delighted with the honour.

"I really appreciate and and very thankful to all DCC members to support us and felicitate us. It's a great honour and privilege to have represented UAE for such a long time," said Tauqir.

East also lauded Khurram and Tauqir for their services to UAE cricket.

"Khurram and Tauqir have done a fantastic job for us over the years. Obviously both of them have captained the side and it's brilliant they were able to take part in the World Cup at the end of their careers. Both of them are now involved in the Master Champions League which is fantastic because they have been able to extend their careers after having retired from international cricket," said the CEO of ECB.

Redha Abbas summed up DCC’s decision in honouring the former captains, especially, Khurram saying: “All our boys played well in the World Cup. If it was not for Khurram, we would not have qualified for the World Cup. He is one player who does not need a coach because I feel he himself is a coach. He bats so well and is a great fielder and bowler and so we felt we should honour him.”