Bangla Tigers squad for the upcoming Abu Dhabi T10 has been strengthened by the inclusion of top international stars Shahid Afridi and Mohammed Amir in their line-up.
At the draft held in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, the Tigers picked Afridi and Amir as their top picks for the upcoming season of the tournament scheduled to be held at the Zayed Cricket Stadium from November 19.
The tournament is being staged under the aegis of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), with official approval of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Afridi and Amir’s inclusion follows the earlier high profile signing of icon player and former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis. In addition to that the franchise had also announced the retentions of West Indies’ dashing pair of Andre Fletcher and Johnson Charles, Sri Lanka’s terrific new-ball bowler Isuru Udana and Afghanistan’s mystery spinner Qais Ahmed.
The franchise’s coaching staff will be led by former Australia batsman Stuart Law with former England wicket-keeper batsman Paul Nixon as the new batting coach, whereas one of the game’s fastest bowlers, Shaun Tait of Australia will be the bowling coach. Du Plessis will be leading the side at the tournament.
Afridi and Amir’s inclusion has further raised the profile of the side. Afridi comes with huge pedigree after nearly two-decade international career. Post his retirement as Pakistan’s superstar Afridi has been a regular on the franchise circuit. Amir, on the other hand, has been a top performer with the ball since his international retirement in 2009.
There have been some more interesting picks by the franchise at the draft on Thursday night including that of the hero of the Australian 2015 World Cup squad, James Faulkner. The left-arm bowler, Faulkner, was the man of the match in the final and has been one of the premier short-format bowlers. Hazratullah Zazai the Afghanistan dasher, who is one of the few to have struck six sixes in an over, is also in the squad.
There are some very talented young cricketers including 17-year-old chinaman bowler Hasssan Khalid and 18-year-old slinger Matheesha Pathirana from Sri Lanka also in the ranks post the draft.
Mr Abdul Latif Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Bangla Tigers was thrilled with the way the draft progressed for the franchise. “We focussed on having a strong bowling attack because that is the key to win tournaments like Abu Dhabi T10. We are pleased that the squad is well-balanced. We have a good mix of youth and experience. I cannot thank the owners, entire management team and the coaching staff for the effort they put into the draft,” said Mr Khan.
Bangla Tigers owner Mohammad Yasin Chowdhury said: “Kudos to the entire management team and coaching staff for assembling a world class squad. We planned thoroughly for this draft and we were able to draft every player we targeted. The squad’s selection is the result of excellent planning managed excellently by our entire management team and coaching staff. Full marks for the professional approach by our entire group.”
Full Squad: Faf du Plessis (Icon), Shahid Afridi (A1), Mohammed Amir (A2), James Faulkner (A3), Benny Howell (A4), Johnson Charles (B1), Hazrat Zazai (B2), Will George Jack (B3), Andre Fletcher (C1), Qais Ahmed (C2), Isuru Udana (C3), Hassan Khalid (Round UAE 1), Sabir Rao (Round UAE 2), Matheesha Pathirana (Round ET1), William Smeed (Round ET2), Adam Lyth (Round OP1), Mohammad Saifuddin (Round OP2)