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UAE skipper Ahmed Raza (Photo/ ICC Twitter)
UAE skipper Ahmed Raza (Photo/ ICC Twitter)

Struggle has been real: Skipper Raza after UAE qualifies for Men's T20 WC

ANI | Updated: Feb 23, 2022 07:51 IST

Muscat [Oman], February 23 (ANI): After sealing qualification for ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, UAE skipper Ahmed Raza said that the struggle has been real and he cannot wait to play in the marquee event in Australia.
Raza had produced a Player of the Match performance during UAE's 68-run win against Nepal on Tuesday, with the victory securing a spot in this year's tournament.
"The struggle has been real. The last time I went to a World Cup was in 2014 (the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh), and I didn't make it to Australia in 2015. So this was very special and very emotional. It was surreal when everything was falling into place for us. I was thinking: the game is not over yet, the game is not over yet. At the back of my mind, I knew it was," the official website of ICC quoted Raza as saying.

"At that moment, it felt like my life has come full circle now. The last time UAE played, I wasn't in the squad, but I still went there. Life is taking me back there now, hopefully still as captain of UAE. I helped my team to qualify, and there are not many captains who have done that for UAE in the past. I feel part of an elite group now. It is a huge achievement, and it is a very emotional one because it has been a very long journey," he added.
UAE and Ireland on Tuesday confirmed their big tickets to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Australia after reaching the final of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier A, at Al Amerat.
UAE stopped the three-match winning run of Nepal with a 68-run victory while Ireland beat Oman by 56 runs. At the Oman Academy ground 1, UAE exhibited a clinical performance to reach the ICC Men's T20 World Cup for the second time.
The last time UAE made it to the global showpiece event was in 2014. For Ireland, the only Full Member nation in Qualifier A, it will be their seventh appearance at the global showpiece event.
The two winning teams took the 13th and 14th spots for the tournament in Australia later this year, with the last two places to be decided at the Qualifier B in July. (ANI)