Kuwait Cricket has announced national contracts for twenty men’s players for the year 2021. This is the second year running that twenty national contracts have been awarded for the men’s team. In 2020, the contracts were worth $70,000 in total, covering catch allowances throughout the year. In 2021, players will also receive match fees for International Cricket Council (ICC), Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and bilateral series. Players will also receive additional bonuses for winning matches and for select individual performances at individual level.
Sixteen players retain their national contracts in 2021. Apsal Ashraf, Faez Ahmed, Ilyas Ahmed, and Muhammad Ansar have been dropped. Abdul Haseeb, Edson Daisy Silva, Jiss Koottanal Jacob, and Nasir Hussain Syed replace them on the list.
Former Sri Lankan first-class all-rounder, Mohammad Aslam Mohammad Nawfer retains the captaincy. Star opening batsmen Ravija Sandaruwan, who averages 44.38 at a strike rate of 165.80 is also in the squad, as is former captain and Man of the Tournament at the last ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Asia Region Final, Muhammad Kashif. At the age of seventeen, school boy Meet Bhavsar is into his second year as a contracted national player for Kuwait. Bhavsar became the youngest ever cricketer to play in a men’s T20 International (T20I) at the age of 14 years and 211 days.
According to Kuwait Cricket, players were chosen based on a ‘combination of ICC eligibility, performance, talent, fitness, attitude discipline, and future prospects of continued residency in the State of Kuwait.’ Contracted players can be replaced on account of poor performance, injury, conduct of conduct violations, or breaches of contract.
Kuwait Cricket’s renewal of national contracts for the men’s squad is a welcome development ahead of an important international season. Kuwait will line up for the T20 Asia Cup Qualifiers against Hong Kong, Singapore and UAE later this year. Kuwait will also participate in the ICC T20 World Cup Asian Western Sub-Regional Qualifier in October 2021, after bowing out at the continental qualifier stage in the last cycle.
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