Andy Flower new
Gulf Giants head coach Andy Flower keeps a close look on the proceedings as the team gear up for the inaugural DP World International T20 League. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Gulf Giants’ head coach Andy Flower is eager to see the standards of the UAE talents and feels the wrist spinners will play a big role in the inaugural DP World International T20 League, which kicks off on Friday.

“I am very excited to see how the players from UAE perform, not only in Adani’s Gulf Giants but also across all teams. Ayan Afzal Khan is a promising all-rounder and this is a good opportunity for young players like him to challenge themselves,” said the former Zimbabwean captain and one of the notable coaches in the world.

High-calibre players

Historically, wrist spinners have excelled in the UAE due to the large boundaries in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and the head coach is hopeful that the trend continues, especially in favour of his team. “We’ve got two wrist spinners, and I’m looking forward to watch how they bowl, as they have an element of mystery to them,” he said.

The six-team franchise competition boasts off high-calibre players from around the world, and among the mix is the Gulf Giants. The Adani Sportsline-owned franchise, who open their campaign on Sunday against Abu Dhabi Knight Riders at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, has some stalwarts like James Vince, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Jordan, Chriss Lynn, David Wiese and Liam Dawson.

Squad composition

Flower is quite pleased with the bunch of players at his disposal and is quietly optimistic. “Obviously we are happy with the squad composition right now. I feel like we have all our bases covered and we also have a great leader in James Vince, who I have worked with in the past.”

He further noted that the batting unit looks robust and laden with power hitters. “We have very exciting talent, Chris Lynn at the moment has been looking very good in the recent Big Bash. We also have power in the middle in the form of Hetmyer, Wiese and Overton.”

Flower shared his relief that the timing of the tournament spares the teams from the brutal summers and further added that different weather could mean different playing conditions. “It does feel different than usual, when the temperature drops like this, there is more on offer for the seamers. We will see the ball swing and this means the pace bowlers will have to play more of an attacking role.”