Opening loss adds to host’s corruption woes
Hosts United Arab Emirates got their campaign at the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier under way yesterday with a seven-wicket defeat by neighbours Oman in Abu Dhabi, just days after three of their players were charged by the world governing body with breaching the anti-corruption code.
Captain Mohammad Naveed, Shaiman Anwar and Qadeer Ahmed, along with a man linked with cricket in the UAE emirate of Ajman, face 13 counts of anti-corruption breaches.
All three were withdrawn from UAE’s squad days before the ICC’s official announcement, with one of Naveed’s reprimands including “contriving, or being party to an agreement or effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly, the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of matches in the upcoming ICC World T20 Qualifiers 2019.”
The developments have rocked UAE cricket on the eve of the qualifiers, a tournament being played out in the Gulf country, and offers six places at the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia.
It has been another worrying example of alleged match fixing for Associate cricket, ahead of arguably its most important tournament.
The on-field action did not disappoint on day one as Singapore stole the show with a last-ball, two-run victory over tournament favourites Scotland.
It was a dramatic start to the tournament’s opener and one that instantly blew the competition wide open.
Elsewhere, Ireland beat Hong Kong by eight wickets and Netherlands saw off Kenya by 30 runs.
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