Dubai: The four UAE players are looking forward to rub shoulders with the best in business during the six-team DP World ILT20, which begins on January 13.
Young Ali Nasser, who was part of the UAE Under-19 team that won the Plate title in the West Indies last year, says it is a dream come true.
“Never dreamt of playing a league like this. It’s a great opportunity for UAE players financially and also the experience of playing with these top players. All of us will come out of this league as better players,” said the left-hander. “Big opportunity to perform and learn from players like Tymal Mills, Colin Monroe and Tom Curran.”
Veteran left-hander and former UAE skipper Rohan Mustafa, who has scored 1,249 runs in 71 matches in his T20 career so far, said: “I played with skipper Colin Munro in the Global T20 Canada, he was the captain of our side there. I am also looking forward to playing with Wanindu Hasaranga as he is one of the best leg-spinners in the world.”
Batting all-rounder Ronak Panoly said: “I was really excited when I heard about the DP World ILT20. I knew that I had to work hard to get picked by a franchise. And then when the Desert Vipers offered a place in their side, I was thoroughly excited. I am really thankful for the opportunity.
“I would want to be around Alex Hales and try to learn from him because he is an explosive opener. I would like to incorporate some of the aspects of his game into my own. I would also like to face Wanindu Hasaranga in the nets as that would be a really good challenge.”
The Desert Vipers will be in action when they take on Sharjah Warriors in their first match of the tournament on January 15 at the Dubai International Stadium.
Making its debut on January 13, the inaugural DP World ILT20 promises to be a high-octane competition with some of the superstars set to make their way to the UAE to kick-off the league. The league will be played in a 34-match format at the world-class facilities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
Franchise teams, comprising over 100 International and 24 UAE-based players, include Abu Dhabi Knight Riders (Knight Riders Group), Desert Vipers (Lancer Capital), Dubai Capitals (GMR), Gulf Giants (Adani Sportsline), MI Emirates (Reliance Industries), and Sharjah Warriors (Capri Global).