Maldives coach Mohammed Bazeeghzaka believes adju sting to the cold weather in Nepal will be the key to his side doing well in the upcoming ACC Twenty20 Cup.
The ACC Twenty20 Cup runs from 3-11 December in Kathmandu with three sides having an opportunity to qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 2012 Qualifier to be held in March 2012 in UAE.
Maldives is currently playing a few games in Sri Lanka to prepare for the tournament.
“I am preparing them mentally for the tournament. There is a difference in the weather in Maldives and Nepal. In Maldives the temperatures are warm and it is raining as well, Nepal is cooler. We are here in Sri Lanka which has similar weather to Maldives. That will be a big challenge for us. We will have to do a lot of small things well,” said Bazeeghzaka.
The Maldives squad has been training together for the last month. With Sri Lanka being the closest to its country, Maldives chose the Emerald Isles as a base.
“We are preparing well. We are in Sri Lanka and thus far have played a few Twenty20 matches against the Sri Lanka Academy side. Match time is the best preparation for any tournament,” added Bazeeghzaka.
Originally from Lahore in Pakistan, Bazeeghzaka. has played a lot of club cricket in his native land. He has also been involved with coaching at the Essex County Cricket Club in United Kingdom.
Bazeeghzaka is backing the squad’s bowling to be the cornerstone of a good showing at the ACC Twenty20 Cup.
“Our strength is our bowling. We have a few good spinners, one or two other good bowlers. In the mornings there might be dew factor in the morning just like I have seen in Pakistan. But we have five-six players who can change the game at any time,” said Bazeeghzaka, who has been with Maldives for the last two and a half months.
The best part, according to Bazeeghzaka, is the fact that his squad is used to playing cricket in the shorter versions at domestic level.
“We have a lot of tournaments like Super Eights (eight players as a side), 10-overs a side, Twenty20 and limited-overs at domestic level. So we are attuned to this format. So that will certainly come in handy,” reckoned Bazeeghzaka.
If Maldives does make it through to the next stage, Bazeeghzaka believes it will add a whole dimension to the sport in the country.
“It will mean a lot for us. I have set small targets for the side. We should first target semi-finals and then take it from there. It will mean a lot to the players who have worked very hard. Everyone is keen to make it to the elite group,” concluded Bazeeghzaka.