The first-ever draft for Emirates players to participate in the inaugural international T10 Cricket League at Sharjah Cricket Stadium next month took place on Saturday.
In attendance was legend Wasim Akram as well as former players, team owners and other VIP’s.
In a bid to give local talent a major boost as many as 27 players were part in the draft as team owners made their selections. Ten players were drafted in five teams. The 6th team, Team Sri Lanka Cricket, has already announced that their players will be from the team that just won the Super Provincial title recently.
UAE Captain Rohan Mustafa became the first ever draft pick for T10 cricket when the Kerala Kings chose him along with bowler Imran Haider. The team’s icon player Eoin Morgan attended the draft along with their coach Robin Singh.
Maratha Arabians picked batsman Shaiman Anwar and fast bowler Zahoor Khan.
The Punjab Legends icon player Shoaib Malik was also present as his team chose wicket-keeper batsman Ghulam Shabber and fast bowler Shareef Asadullah.
The Bengal Tigers secured the services of fast bowler Mohammed Naveed and batsman Rameez Shahzad while the Pakhtoons went for all-rounder Amjad Javed and wicket-keeper batsman Saqlain Haider.
Six teams will battle it out for the title from December 14 in this exciting format, which is expected to fill the iconic Sharjah stadium.
“We are delighted to be able to give local players an opportunity to play with the big boys and garner the experience,” said Shaji Ul Mulk, the Chairman of the T10 committee and the brain behind the concept.
“The enthusiasm we witnessed at the draft is indicative of the high level of interest that the T10 is attracting and we are confident that it will become a regular feature here and around the cricketing world,” he added.
The International players draft is scheduled for Sunday. Among those present at the venue will be Shahid Afridi, Eoin Morgan, and Sarfraz Ahmed.
The 47-year-old, who brought the curtain down on his stellar Test career 10 years ago with a 5-0 cleansweep of England, told Saturday’s Daily Mail newspaper everyone is expecting him to say 5-0.
“Well, it would be rude of me not to, wouldn’t it?” jested McGrath.
“If our bowlers can stay on the park and bowl well there could be a good chance of that again.
“It’s always up to the batsmen. Bowlers will win matches as long as the batsmen score enough runs. That’s coming from a bowler.”
However McGrath – who took 563 Test wickets in 124 Tests over a 14 year period — admits that prediction could be tempered by a couple of personnel issues the Aussies are facing.
“I think it will be a fascinating series and I don’t think there’s a real stand-out winner,” said McGrath, not just a Test bowler but an integral part of the Australian side that won three successive One Day World Cups,
“Both teams have got issues, there’s no doubt about that, and looking at the England squad, half the guys I haven’t really seen play before to be honest.
“I don’t think the Australians have settled on their team.
“The No 6 position and the keeper are up in the air at the moment so we’ll see what happens. It’s still special. It’s still the ultimate.”
McGrath says the Ben Stokes affair has obviously affected the balance of power between the two sides.
Talismanic all-rounder Stokes has had to remain in England as he awaits the outcome of a police investigation into an incident in Bristol in September.
“Being vice-captain you do have to set the standards both on and off the field and what happened there was not good, you can’t say anything but that,” said McGrath.
“The great shame of it is that he has the world at his feet. He’s such a good player.
“He’s two players in one so it’s a big blow to England. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s not here for the entire series.
“If he did come out here it will be interesting to see how the fans warm to him but there’s a lot to happen first before we see whether that can happen.
“It could be a distraction.
“Of course it’s a blow to the series.
“You want to play against the best players. For Australia to win you want the opposition to be at full strength and that’s the way it’s always been.”
McGrath was speaking ahead of taking part in the New York Marathon on Sunday.
He is running for The McGrath Foundation which raises money for cancer, an illness that claimed his first wife Jane.
Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat first on a flat deck and the Black Caps vindicated his decision after putting up 196 runs on the scoreboard.
The hosts never looked like chasing down the visitors’ total and ultimately fell short by 40 runs as the Black Caps pulled level at 1-1 in the series.
We look at the two good and bad performances from the match after the Kiwis stormed right back into the series.
Munro has a fearsome reputation when it comes to the limited-overs format and the fact that he hit a 56-ball ton against Bangladesh in January extenuates that fear factor.
The 30-year-old opening batsman had to take a backseat as partner Martin Guptill went about attacking the Indian bowling attack in the initial overs.
Munro would not miss out on the action for too long and once he got going, there would be no respite for the bowlers.
The left-hander displayed the brute force in his bottom-hand as he muscled away the white ball beyond the boundary ropes at will.
Munro hit seven massive sixes and the same amount of boundaries as brought up his second T20I ton in only 54 deliveries, bettering his 56-ball century against Bangladesh. He stayed unbeaten to carry his bat in impressive fashion with a 58-ball 109.
— ICC (@ICC) November 4, 2017
With a huge total of 196 to defend, New Zealand would have gone into the break feeling pretty confident but with India’s batting remaining its forte, nothing could be taken for granted by Williamson’s men.
Boult started off the India tour with a bang with impressive performances in the opening two ODI matches but has since then gone off the boil a fair bit after having his worst ODI and T20I outings.
He reminded us why he is the Black Caps’ greatest threat with the ball when he removed Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma in his very first over.
The left-arm pacer castled Dhawan’s middle-stump with an in-swinging delivery with only his second ball and then got the prize wicket of Sharma with the final delivery of the over.
The Indian vice-captain was caught behind after attempting to glide Boult’s delivery down to third-man. With the hosts reduced to 2-11 inside two overs, it would only take a Herculean effort to chase down 197. In the end, Boult’s first over might very well have extinguished India’s hopes.
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) November 4, 2017
Siraj had been handed his maiden India cap following impressive showings in the Ranji Trophy, IPL and with India A.
Given a spot in the starting XI on Saturday following Ashish Nehra’s retirement, Siraj had a baptism with fire in Rajkot as New Zealand’s batsmen made merry.
Given the new ball responsibility by Kohli, the 23-year-old pacer was given the coldest of welcomes to international cricket by Martin Guptill who took two boundaries off his very first over.
Siraj was taken out of the attack and brought back after the Power Play but had to contend with a well set Munro who tonked two huge sixes in his second over.
The Hyderabad-born pacer ultimately did get his maiden international wicket in the form of Williamson but ultimately finished with figures of 1-53 off his four overs.
Most runs conceded on T20I debut by an Indian:
57 – Joginder Sharma, 2007
53 – MOHAMMED SIRAJ, Today
52 – Ashish Nehra, 2009#INDvNZ
— Sampath Bandarupalli (@SampathStats) November 4, 2017
After New Zealand’s openers had got the tourists off to a flier, the responsibility of stemming the flow of runs fell to India’s spin-attack of Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel.
Chahal was brought on by Kohli in the fifth over of the batting power play and was welcomed to the crease with two huge sixes and a boundary by Guptill’s bat.
Patel on the other hand started well, going for only four runs in his first over, but once Munro got set, India’s spinners were taken to the cleaners.
Chahal was surprisingly willing to give the ball a lot of air on a flat pitch and got the treatment his deliveries deserved while Patel was blown away by Munro’s extraordinary power.
While Chahal improved as the game wore on, Patel only got worse and so expensive had been India’s spinners that Kohli elected not to bowl them out.
Overall, 75 runs were collected from the seven overs bowled between the pair, in stark contrast to the Kiwi spinners who bowled with much more control and potency.