By Dilip Kuner • 08 August 2019 • 20:00
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SPAIN has announced its squad for its up-coming series against Finland as the nation continues its first steps into playing full cricket internationals.
Hamza Dar is in line for his international debut for Cricket España, named for the first time in Spain’s 13-man squad.
Hamza comes in place of Tauqeer Hussain, while his brother, Mustafa Dar, misses out, as does Adam Algar with the Spain squad trimmed to 13 players from the 15 selected for the March tri-series against Malta that made history.
Two comprehensive wins over the Maltans marked the first full T20Is Spain have ever played and the matches with Finland will continue the country’s foray into full internationals.
Captain Christian Muñoz Mills hopes the addition of Hamza will give his side further spin options in the bowling department.
“We think we need another spinner in the team so that is why we changed a quick bowler in Tauqeer Hussain and for a spinning all-rounder in Hamza Dar,” said Mills.
“We hope to play hard and attacking cricket. That’s the way we always play and we need to continue to do that.
“Every player needs to play their game and if we do that, we should be fine. And, I think, the most important thing is to make sure we are all having fun, because if you have fun then you get the most out of every player.”
Mills and his side travel to face Finland for a three match T20I series from August 16-18, the first in a historic partnership between the two nations that will see Los Toros (The Bulls) return the favour and host The Finnish Bears in the Spring of 2020.
This follows on from Spain’s victories over Malta in La Manga earlier this year, wins that saw Spain move into 41st in the ICC’s World T20I rankings, the first time Los Toros have featured in the list after the ICC announced that every T20 match between member nations would be granted full T20I status, as of January, 2019.
“The players are more excited now because of the rankings and we can now regularly test ourselves against and see how we compare to other countries without waiting to play European tournaments,” said Mills of Spain’s first forays into full T20Is. “It’s a great improvement for cricket all over the world.”
Team Manager, and former Spain international, Jamie Roper, added: “It was a great step forward for the side having our first competitive T20Is on home soil and also winning the series gives us great preparation for this upcoming series against even stronger opposition in Finland.”
The series will begin on Friday, August 16 with Cricket España taking on Finland in a warm-up development game between the two sides before the series begins in earnest the following day.
There will be a double header on Saturday, August 17 before the third and final match of the series gets underway on Sunday, August 18 with all three matches taking place at the host’s Kerava National Ground.
Los Toros will be led in Finland by coach David Gelling, who replaces Pete Williams. Gelling has previously worked with Hampshire County Cricket Club in the UK and has a long-standing relationship with Cricket España. He will be supported in Finland by physio Rob Francis.
The Cricket España team in full: Christian Muñoz Mills (captain), Faran Afzal, Awais Ahmed, Atif Ali, Yasir Ali, Muhammad Asjed, Hamza Dar, Zulqarnain Haider, Paul Hennessy, Kuldeep Karan, Vinod Kumar, Ravi Panchal, Tom Vine.
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