Two months ago C.P. Rizwan was distraught after UAE failed to qualify for the Asia Cup. It was his first major assignment as the UAE captain and he was naturally disappointed when his side failed to qualify for the continental championship.
Now Rizwan is savouring some of the finest moments of his career as he led UAE to their maiden win in the ICC T20 World Cup. The win over Namibia was huge, personally for Rizawan and for UAE cricket. He also hopes to build on the momentum gained from the win and show the world that UAE can compete against the best teams.
"In the Asia Cup qualifiers, we played well in patches. We were not able to finish off the games. We worked on our skills and fitness. Before the World Cup, we played a couple of matches against Bangladesh which was a good experience. I got a fifty in one of those matches. We learnt from our mistakes and we were always looking to improve,'
"The win against Namibia is huge for UAE cricket but apart from that, there were so many positives for us from this World Cup. Karthik Meiyappan took the first and only hat-trick in the T20 World Cup so far against Sri Lanka, The 16-year-old Ayan Khan became the youngest player to play in a T20 World Cup. They have promising careers ahead of them. But I felt we could have batted slightly better in our first two matches. The drop in wickets had some assistance for fast bowlers and we came up short. I was happy with my knock against Namibia and I also enjoyed my captaincy,'' said the Thalassery born Rizwan who played junior cricket for Kerala.
Rizwan said sharing the stage with greats of the game during the 'Captain's Day' in Melbourne was a great experience and he will cherish the moments he spent with Rohit Sharma, Jos Butler, and Babar Azam.
"I had a lump in my throat when I saw the modern greats. However, they were very friendly. Rohit Sharma shared his experience of playing in Perth and also enquired about our coach Robin Singh who was also the batting coach of Mumbai Indians. When I told Butler that I played along with Sanju Samson, he said he expected Sanju to be here for this World Cup. Babar was a very down-to-earth person and we discussed UAE cricket in general,'' he said.
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