Dubai: Bengal Tigers have bagged India’s star left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan in the T10 League draft that was held at the Capital Club on Tuesday. The former pacer, who through his ability to reverse swing the new as well as the old ball had made all batsmen around the world struggle, has also been named as the team’s Icon Player from India.
Speaking about the star addition to their team, Anis Sajan, the mentor of the Bengal Tigers, said: “We always wanted Zaheer Khan to be our Icon Player from India and we were the lucky ones out of the eight franchise to get the first chance to pick Zaheer Khan in the draft. It’s all about luck and I would be honest in admitting that the hand of God was on Bengal Tigers that we got the first pick. It was no brainier for us in going in for Zaheer Khan.”
Sajan then went on to reveal that Zaheer, who is one of the biggest stars of the event, will strengthen their team’s campaign to win the title in the second edition. This team, who will be led by England star batsman Sam Billings, have former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming as their coach.
“Zaheer was the spearhead of the Indian bowling attack for a decade and was instrumental in India winning the 2011 World Cup as the highest wicket-taker,” added Sajan. “He is also the fourth highest wicket-taker for India in ODIs and fifth highest in Test cricket. His presence will be inspiring for everyone, especially he being a 2011 Arjuna award winner, who has contributed so much to the Indian team. He will also bring with him his experience of playing in the IPL and also having captained Delhi Daredevils.”
Bengal also bagged another Khan in former UAE captain Khurram Khan as a support staff member. The draft for the UAE players was also held and Bengal picked young opener Chirag Suri as their first pick and Mohammad Usman as their second. “It was Khurram Khan who guided me to pick Suri as he is one of the fittest among UAE players. He is a capable opening batsman and more importantly a superb fielder,” said Sajan. “Usman is a hard-hitting left-handed batsman and will be good for our team as a finisher.”
This team has some of the best shorter-format cricketers such as Jason Roy, Sunil Narine and Mohammad Nabi, too.