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It was a loss to UAE that denied Graeme Cremer"s Zimbabwe a ticket to the World Cup

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Six months after hosting Australia in a one-off T20I, United Arab Emirates are now set to play a second Test nation - Zimbabwe - in a series of four ODIs starting April 10 in Harare. This will be UAE"s first bilateral ODI series against a Full-Member nation.

Helping them acclimatise will be Graeme Cremer, the former Zimbabwe captain, who is now an assistant to UAE head coach Dougie Brown, the former England fast bowler.

UAE squad

Mohammad Naveed (capt), Rohan Mustafa, Ashfaq Ahmed, Shaiman Anwar, Muhammad Usman, CP Rizwan, Chirag Suri, Muhammad Boota, Ghulam Shabbir, Sultan Ahmed, Imran Haider, Amir Hayat, Zahoor Khan, Qadeer Ahmed

Cremer, in fact, was the Zimbabwe captain when they lost by three runs (DLS method) to UAE in the World Cup qualifiers at home last year, which knocked them out of contention for a berth in the 2019 World Cup. That turned out to be Cremer"s last appearance for Zimbabwe.

Last year, 32-year-old Cremer put his playing career on hold and relocated from Harare to Dubai to join his wife, a pilot with the Dubai-based Emirates.

Mohammad Naveed, the 31-year old allrounder, will lead UAE"s squad of 15 that includes other experienced members in Rohan Mustafa, Shaiman Anwar and Chirag Suri.

The series is part of a reciprocal player agreement the two boards signed in 2017, and it started with Zimbabwe A featuring in five one-dayers in the UAE. This is the first bilateral international exchange since they signed the agreement.

"This series is a testament to the quality of not only UAE"s national side, but to the growing levels and abilities of Associate cricket," Waleed Bukhatir, chief selector and Emirates Cricket Board member, said.

"Such achievements can only happen by nurturing relationships with various Full Member boards, and through Emirates Cricket Board"s vision and leadership we are very pleased to maintain and strengthen these relationships and see these milestones reached, we are very grateful to all involved."

This is UAE"s second visit to Zimbabwe in the last 13 months, after having featured in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in March 2018.

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