Saudi cricket team rides expertise of ex-Ranji player - Times Of India JAMSHEDPUR: The hands of former state Ranji player Tariq-ur-Rehman are full for he is not only coaching the elite corporate team, Air India, but is also busy training Saudi Arabian cricketers. The 38-year-old Rehman, with 59 first class matches under his belt, was the coach of the Saudi Arabian team that won for the first time U-19 Asia Associates Trophy defeating Kuwait in Kuala Lumpur in August 2011. The Saudi Arabian team, which got affiliation of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2003, is gradually progressing ahead with greatest moment in the international cricket thus far lifting the 2008 Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Elite Trophy in which it defeated UAE, a country with ODI experience, by 29 runs. "Against the backdrop of the fact that football is relatively popular than cricket in Saudi Arabia, their progress is by and large okay and following the Associates Trophy win (in 2011), the government there has become more serious regarding promotion of cricket as sport," said Rehman, who has also captained Tripura in the Ranji Trophy. He said the middle-east team has the potential to make a mark in the international arena provided the agencies and authorities concerned sincerely follow the ICC guidelines. "In the elite circle, Afghanistan is progressing rapidly (in the Associates league) but Malaysia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia also have the potential to make a presence in the international arena but for this to happen, ICC guidelines need to be followed sincerely by those responsible for it," said Rehman, who has scored over 3,000 runs, including seven centuries, in first-class cricket. The left-handed batsman, who has played some important knocks during his 14-year career, is optimistic that by 2020, the middle-east country will qualify for the Asia Cup. "The elements of experience and determination shall make Saudi Arabia team qualify for the Asia Cup, hopefully," said Rehman, whose association with the team is just 10 months. Since affiliation, Saudi Arabia have also played in the T20 format of the game in the 2007 ACC T20 Cup besides the 50-over format.