Abu Dhabi: Deccan Gladiators have retained Sri Lankan leg spinner and explosive batter Wanindu Hasaranga of Sri Lanka in the squad for the forthcoming season of Abu Dhabi T10 in November. Hasaranga joins England allrounder Tymal Mills and UAE fast bowler Zahoor Khan in the list of retained players by the franchise ahead of the Players’ Draft while West Indian allrounder Andre Russell is the Icon Player of the team.
Hasaranga, currently playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL 2021 in UAE, shot into limelight in his first ever One-day International when he claimed a hat-trick against Zimbabwe and thereby becoming the third debutant and the first leggie in the history of the game to claim that feat. Hasaranga’s seven wickets in three T20 Internationals, with best figures of four for nine, helped Sri Lanka beat India in the recently concluded limited overs and T20I series at home.
“I think my batting and bowling style suits this version more than any other formats that I play, and so, I am looking forward to go out there, do what I do best, and bring home the cup! I can’t wait to join the likes of Dre Russ (Andre Russell), Tymal (Mills) and Zahoor (Khan) in the Deccan Gladiators line-up. I am a leg-spinner and I am eagerly waiting to meet my childhood hero and coach of Deccan Gladiators, the legendary leg-spinner from Pakistan Mushtaq Ahmed. I am sure I will be able to learn a lot from him,” said the 24-year-old after his retention in the Deccan Gladiators squad.
Deccan Gladiators owner Gaurav Grover said: “One of the most talented allrounder in world cricket at the moment, he is such a great player for his age and he handles the tough situations perfectly. I am so glad to have a matchwinner like him in our side.”
Commenting on his elevation as the icon player of the side, Russell said: “I am extremely excited to be the Icon Player of Deccan Gladiators in Abu Dhabi T10 this year and I am looking forward to be out there with the team and go all the way to win the title. It is also an honour to be regarded as the Icon Player in the team and I will thrive to live up to the expectation and the faith that the team management has bestowed upon me.”