LAHORE, June 22: While Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Ashraful eyes a place in the second round of the Asia Cup, United Arab Emirates (UAE) captain Saqib Ali said his team was featuring in the tournament to learn.

Both the teams arrived here to take part in the Asia Cup which starts in Lahore and Karachi on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka, the third team of the pool ‘A’ is scheduled to arrive here in the wee hours on Monday.

Ashraful said that his team was well prepared since it had been playing tough cricket against Pakistan and India in the last couple of months.

“We are here to play good cricket and all eyes are on the first match (against UAE) because we have to qualify for the second stage,” Ashraful told a press conference on Sunday.

“We are confident for the second round as we have been playing good cricket against India and Pakistan in the recent past,” he said.

Bangladesh, having Test status, are likely to move into the second round along with formidable rivals Sri Lanka from pool ‘A’.

Bangladesh coach James Siddons said his team had not played against UAE but hopefully it would be a good match.“Though we did not play against them we have to work hard and maintain discipline to win it,” he said.

Saqib said his team had made good preparations for the Asia Cup and boys would give a tough fight to Bangladesh in the opener.

“We have made a good improvement and it will be good outing against Bangladesh,” he said.

UAE coach Vasbert Drakes said though his team had to play against three big teams of the region, consistent performance in all the departments would be a key to earn good results. He said batting was the main strength of his team.

He said the participation in the tournament would provide a good opportunity to his boys to learn. Both the teams held practice session at the Gaddafi Stadium.


Bangladesh: Abdur Razzak, Aftab Ahmed, Alok Kapali, Dhiman Ghosh

Dolar Mahmud, Farhad Reza, Junaid Siddique, Mahmudullah, Mashrafe Mortaza (vice-captain), Mehrab Hossain, Mohammad Ashraful (captain)

Mosharraf Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim (wicket-keeper), Naeem Islam

Nazimuddin, Raqibul Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Shahadat Hossain, Shahriar Nafees, Tamim Iqbal

UAE:Aman Ali, Amjad Ali (wicket-keeper), Amjad Javed, Arshad Ali

IPP Batuwitarachchi, Fahad Alhashmi, N Fernandes, Khurram Khan

Mohammad Tauqir, Salman Farooq, Saqib Ali (captain), EHSN Silva

Zahid Shah.