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March 11, 2015

Mohammad Tauqir


Q. Tell me what has the UAE taken from this World Cup experience.
MOHAMMAD TAUQIR: I think we all had -- we had approximately four games so far. We had a few close games, one bad game against India. But overall, it has been a good learning experience for the boys, for our team, and we're looking forward for the next two games and would like to do well in the coming two games.

Q. It must be a fairly daunting prospect facing a side like South Africa with some of their superstar big hitters, as well. How do your bowlers approach that and try and stay calm when you've got a de Villiers and an Amla and a Miller, et cetera?
MOHAMMAD TAUQIR: We know they have a very strong batting lineup, and it's a very good team, but I think we were all not expecting South Africa to lose against Pakistan, so it's a funny game. It gave us a bit of hope, also. We'd like to do well. If we are bowling, we would like to bowl and field well against them, and if we are batting, we'd like to play all 50 overs and do well.

Q. Shaiman Anwar, prior to the rest of the games being played, was in the list of top run scorers in the World Cup. How big is that a deal in the UAE, to have someone like that that youngsters can say, you know what, they can compete with the best?
MOHAMMAD TAUQIR: No, definitely we have some very good cricketers in the team, and sham ink the top scorer when it was I think four games all, and now it's Sangakkara, and he's looking forward to become on top again. It's good for him, and we've got a few more good cricketers, also, who are unfortunately not amongst the runs but would like to prove a point in the coming two games.

Q. You've already mentioned that South Africa would have been quite surprised to lose to Pakistan, and I know you said the only way we won't concede 400 is if we bat first. Do you still feel that way? South Africa might not put on 400 against you.
MOHAMMAD TAUQIR: It's a very funny game. You know, we know they are a very good side, but we need to do well. We need to bowl well. We need to field well. I know I said that in the last press conference. It was all with a bit of humor. No, scoring 400 runs is -- I don't see -- we have a good bowling and fielding. If we take some early wickets, I don't see them -- they can be put under pressure. I don't see them scoring 400 runs against us, you know.

Q. For a team that goes back to their day jobs when you do go back to the UAE, how important is it to be a part of a World Cup?
MOHAMMAD TAUQIR: We know we are all amateur cricketers, but we have prepared very well and trained very hard for this event. I think overall the whole experience and the whole exposure has been very good for the team and the boys got a lot of confidence from this event. I think going forward we got -- in July we got a T20 World Cup qualifying, and we're all looking forward to participating in that. I think this experience would give us a lot of confidence for our next game amongst the associate nations. I would also like to say that the more we play against the test nations or their A sides, the more exposure we get, the better we become. I think we cannot learn by just simply watching them on TV. Yeah, we need to play more cricket against them.

Q. Mohammad, you've obviously been asked about it before, but the 2019 World Cup, obviously the ICC are looking at shrinking it. Can you give us your thoughts on that?
MOHAMMAD TAUQIR: I will look at it that way -- I think in 1983 World Cup, there were around 10 teams. I think in 2019, after around 40 years, you still get 10 teams World Cup. I think what improvement have we made in 40-odd years? So I would agree with Sachin Tendulkar's statement here. If ICC would like to develop the game amongst the associate nations, they need to give them more opportunities, and I think if I look in this tournament amongst all the associate nations, I mean, everybody has done well, whether it's Ireland or Afghanistan or Scotland or ourselves, I think, and the more we play against these nations or their A sides, the more we tour and the more we play, we can only get better from here.

Q. If it were to shrink down and you guys were to perhaps not play in the next World Cup, what sort of effect would that have on your cricket and your players?
MOHAMMAD TAUQIR: I think that's not good news for our cricket. However, there are still many more tournaments and events amongst the associate nations, but I think ultimately the more we play the World Cup with test nations, we can get better. This is how we can get better. Everybody plays cricket for some ultimate goal. I think World Cup is an ultimate goal, to participate in this event. I hope, and I request ICC to look into their decision and have many more teams in the 2019 World Cup.

Q. What would be the ideal format do you think, because you've now played -- you play like three or four big teams and then two or three associate teams in a World Cup group. How would you make that format different so it maybe gives you a better chance of going to the next round?
MOHAMMAD TAUQIR: I heard Simon Doull the other day saying the top six teams should be -- as per ICC rankings, the top six teams should be listed in group A, and then the rest of the teams should be in group B. Whoever performs well against them, within themselves, can proceed and play against them. I think that's a good idea. That's a fair deal for the rest of the associate nations, also. And I agree with his statement. I think ultimately everybody wants to be part of this event and would like to participate in this event.

Q. Do you feel unlucky not to have a win from this World Cup? You got pretty close in your first two games. Do you think it's still possible to get a win in this World Cup?
MOHAMMAD TAUQIR: I think luck plays a very important role in games. We hit the stumps and the bell didn't come off, so it's bad luck dropping a few catches in there. Yeah, it was a bit unlucky, but we are very, very positive in the next two games. We saw Ireland beating West Indies. We are very positive we can do that, as well. And even the South African game, also. We are very positive, and we like to play good, positive cricket, and everybody is looking forward to that.

Q. Of the big teams in your group, which one do you think would be the most valuable to losing to an associate nation and why?
MOHAMMAD TAUQIR: I mean, right now I would say the way India has been playing, they have been very, very consistent and seem unbeatable, and we had a bad game against them, as well. So yeah, India seems to be a very strong side.
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