Bengal Tigers team mentor and Danube properties managing director Anis Sajan is a wiser man after the inaugural T10 edition last year.
As he gears up for the second edition of the exciting tournament, Sajan said he made sure to pick only those players who were guaranteed to play in the tournament, unlike last year when he ended up losing out on six players.
In 2017, the Bengal side were forced to manage without Bangladesh quick Mustafizur Rahman (absence of No Objection Certificate from Bangladesh board), Windies spinner Sunil Narine (personal reasons), Pakistan pacer Rumman Raeez (family issues), Pakistan Under19 player Hassan Khan (lack of NOC), Windies’ Rovman Powell (national selection) and Protea all-rounder Ryan McLaren.
However this time, only Sri Lankan Kusal Perera (injury) and Pakistan big hitter Asif Ali (lack of NOC) are missing from the roster. And Sajan is glad he put availability first this time while picking players.
“First year’s biggest experience was to ensure you pick those players who are available. Last year, six of my players dropped out. And they were big players. My goal was to ensure that if we pick someone like a Morne Morkel, we ensure with the player and his manager that he is available. First year is always a learning experience, you try to learn from what teams did to win games,” Sajan said during a media interaction at Danube Properties outlet in Dubai before the second edition of the T10 league.
The second edition of any tournament is when teams become smarter and make more calculated decisions. Sajan and Bengal Tigers were no different, putting more emphasis on roles rather than names with veteran coach Stephen Fleming on board.
“When we decided to pick the teams, we had roles defined for players already. We had an idea why we wanted particular players. That made picking players in draft easy. I am happy to say that almost all the players that we had in mind, we were able to select.
“That’s the reason we have guys like Chirag Suri and Muhammad Usman in the team as they are one of the fittest UAE players and every run saved on the field is a dot ball.”
Every short-format league in the world is desperate for some Indian names but the BCCI simply doesn’t not allow any league outside the IPL to have a substantial Indian presence. So when T10 managed to sign eight well-known Indian names, including veteran pacer Zaheer Khan who will play for Bengal, it was a proud moment for the tournament.
“No other league has Indian players. Addition of Indian names has lifted the league to another level. We have to wait and see in coming years how many more Indian players join,” Sajan stated.
“The players are the heroes of the league, whether India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, anywhere. If we have players all around the world, it takes the league to another level. We are happy that this year the Indians have come on board.”
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