Former UAE captain Amjad Javed announced his retirement from international cricket at the age of 38, citing a lack of motivation and limited opportunities as reasons behind his decision.
Javed last played for the UAE in April 2017 and has decided to not push himself any further given there is no immediate target like qualification for a major tournament in front of the team. The all-rounder said it would anyhow be unfair to take up the spot of a younger player at this point.
“It is never easy when you have to call it a day. You have to decide at what time you need to retire. At the moment, the team is doing better than two years back. I can’t find a place in the team. Nothing motivates me to push myself and fight for that position,” Javed told Sport360.
“It would be unfair if they select me and if I can’t perform, I would have kept another player out of the team. That would not be justified. There are much better players right now.”
Javed said a few years back, the UAE had major targets like qualification for the World T20 and World Cup, which they did in 2014 and 2015. But now, chances for sides like the UAE to qualify for world events appear slim with the number of teams getting reduced.
“Age is a factor. I work as a cargo loadmaster with Emirates Airlines. With all that schedule, it doesn’t suit me now. The body needs rest. Back then, there was motivation for us. Qualifying for World Cup, World T20, we were pushing ourselves. But now, I can’t see that. We couldn’t qualify for the 2019 World Cup as they have reduced the number of teams. We couldn’t qualify for Asia Cup in September as well.”
Looking back, Javed said things changed for the better when former Pakistan seamer Aaqib Javed took over as UAE coach in 2012 and brought in a professional set-up. Thereafter, the UAE went on to qualify for the 2014 World T20 and 2015 World Cup while also gaining professional contracts from the Emirates Cricket Board.
Never easy but it’s time to take retirement from UAE cricket and enjoy watching it as a fan. Would like to thanks @EmiratesCricket @ACCMedia1 @ICC for providing a platform to lead and represent UAE at the highest level.— Amjad Javed (@amjadjaved) December 22, 2018
“Professionalism came when Aaqib Javed came, this is just the continuation of what he started. It was very tough when Aaqib came in. He brought in fitness coaches and professionalism. I thank coach Aaqib and captain Khurram Khan for pushing me and motivating me. I have already achieved the goals I had set for myself as a UAE born player. I am quite happy with my career,” he added.
Javed said he was glad to have contributed to a pivotal moment in UAE cricket when he secured victory in the World Cup qualifier against Kenya in New Zealand in 2014 which paved the way for his team gaining ODI status.
“Captaining the country (in the 2016 Asia Cup) where you were born was a highlight for me. But the main highlight of my career was the 2014 World Cup qualifier we played against Kenya in New Zealand where I was the man of the match. We qualified for the World Cup and achieved ODI status. Everything started rolling after that.”
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