Former India batsmen Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman are among the legends from the subcontinent who have put themselves into the mix for mentoring roles at this year’s UAE T20x.
The coach and mentor pool, which is now 170 strong, consists of accomplished career coaches and ex-players from 16 different countries.
Sehwag and Laxman will look to act as mentors to younger players in the competition whilst Venkatesh Prasad, Robin Singh, Sanjay Bangar, Sriram Krishnamurthy and AR Srikkanth are keen to take on coaching roles.
These names sit alongside Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis, Misbah ul Haq, Abdul Razzaq, Inzamam ul Haq, Amir Sohail, Moin Khan, Saeed Ajmal and Mushtaq Ahmed who seek to pursue coaching roles, whilst Javed Miandad hopes to serve as a mentor.
Sri Lankan cricketing veteran Chaminda Vaas has also signed up to coach a UAE T20x franchise. Former Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and batting maestro Tillakaratne Dilshan are expected to act as coaches in the league. These coaches and mentors will be picked by franchise owners during the draft, which is scheduled to take place in early November.
Salman Sarwar Butt, CEO of UAE T20x said: “We are extremely excited to see an ongoing flow of experienced coaches contacting us to be a part of the league. This is a clear demonstration of our commitment to attracting the biggest names in cricket to the UAE to provide emerging talent with world class coaching that will help improve the standard of our players and translate into electrifying on-field performances for the fans.”
Shahid Afridi and Kumar Sangakkara were announced as the league’s final icon players to sign up to UAE T20x. The event will run from 19 December – 11 January in Dubai and Sharjah.
The hosts won the toss and elected to bat first in home-from-home UAE conditions.
A new-look Australian team, with three debutants, takes on a Pakistan side low on confidence after the Asia Cup. Here’s our five to watch:
After a distinguished career in limited overs cricket the Australian T20 captain finally gets his Test debut at the ripe old age of 31. Has scored over 3000
runs in ODIs with 11 centuries and showed considerable patience in the four day warm up game against Pakistan A where he scored 54. Will need to be just as patient in the Test series as he looks to make one of the vacant opener spots his own.
This is a big chance for the impressive young South Australian who has an opportunity to transform his promising career in first-class cricket to the Test arena. Has always looked a Test player with an excellent temperament and has worked hard on his technique over the last couple of seasons. A better player than his first-class average of 36.43 would suggest with seven centuries.
Gets his chance after Matt Renshaw was struck in the helmet while fielding at short leg in the warm-up match. Born in Klerksdorp, South Africa the 24-year-old will come in at No6 and will be hoping to build on his well compiled 39 not out when he was brought in to the practice game as a sub for Renshaw. Earlier, scored a pair in the second game against India ‘A’ but a promising 60 and 37 in first match.
Pakistan’s success in the series will hinge on the veteran veteran leg-spinner. Australia have worked hard to prepare for Shah by bringing in similar styled spinners from India for batting practice. But Shah’s 165 wickets at 29.44 show how dangerous he can be. He made his Test debut in Dubai against Australia in 2014 and took seven wickets for just 116 runs to spin Pakistan to victory.
A surprising recall for the 38-year-old who hasn’t played Test cricket for over two years, when he scored just 0 and 2 against England in Birmingham in August 2016. His last Test innings in the UAE however was an impressive 151 against England in Sharjah in November 2015. Had a poor series against Australia in 2014 scoring just 48 runs (avg. 16). Right arm off-spin could come in handy on the final day.
Australia in UAE
Pakistan in UAE
Pakistan v Australia Overall Record
Australia Won 31
Pakistan Won 14