UAE flagUAE
Current ranking12 (CricketEurope)
Qualification Winners of WCL Division 2, Namibia, 2007 (after finishing second to Oman in the round robin phase).
Group phase schedule 1 April: Bermuda, Absa Puk Oval
2 April: Kenya, Isak Steyl Stadium
4 April: Netherlands, Senwes Park
6 April: Denmark, Absa Puk Oval
8 April: Afghanistan, Isak Steyl Stadium
Key playersKhurram Khan, Arshad Ali, Saqib Ali
Wise Old HeadKhurram Khan
Emerging playersAman Ali, Qasim Zubair
CoachColin Wells
PreparationDubai (proposed visit to Sri Lanka cancelled)

Having fallen at the final hurdle in 2005, losing to The Netherlands in the play-off for the fifth World Cup qualifying spot and a place among the world's top six Associates, the United Arab Emirates will be determined to go at least one better this time.

But their preparations have been disrupted by their cancellation of a proposed visit to Sri Lanka in the wake of the Lahore attack, and it's not a positive sign that the announcement of the squad was greeted by a newspaper article by captain Khurram Khan criticising both the selection process and the team it had produced.

UAE team (photo by ICC)He published a retraction the next day, but it's difficult not to conclude that all is not well in the world of UAE cricket.

One of the issues Khurram highlighted was the selection of four five-year residents in the squad only two are allowed to play in any one match and among the new names in the side are Pakistan-born lefthander Fayyaz Ahmed, who made 72 against Ireland for an Abu Dhabi XI last year, and Indian-born Ravi Kumar Varma.

But the core of the team comprises players who have been stalwarts of UAE sides over the past few years: Khurram himself, batsman-wicketkeeper Amjad Ali, all rounders Arshad Ali and Saqib Ali, and middle-order batsman Naeemuddin Aslam.

There's also a fair sprinkling of locally-produced youth, notably 19-year-old left-arm seamer Aman Ali and allrounder Qasim Zubair (21).

Qasim may join the experienced Zahid Shah, one of four veterans of the 2005 side, in the new-ball attack, although Fahad al Hashmi will be another possibility.

Khurram will also have the medium pace of Amjad Javed and Arshad Ali available to him, with the spin section including Saqib's off-breaks alongside his own left-arm spin and that of Fayyaz.

Whatever the controversies over selection policy, this is a side which is capable of testing any team in its group, and Khurram and his men will be looking to turn in a series of first-phase performances which give them a realistic chance of going further in the Super Eights.

It would be a major surprise were they to fail to get that far, and anything short of a top-six spot, and with it a place in Division 1 of the World Cricket League, would be a huge disappointment for the Emirates.

But their programme kicks off with games against the three top-seeded sides in their group, and with challengers Afghanistan to play in their final group match they don't have the kindest of draws.