Dubai: Legendary all-rounder and former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has been signed up by the T10 Cricket League’s defending champions Kerala Kings as their coach for the coming season.
Vettori, who is among the highest paid coaches in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and is the coach of the star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore team, said: “I am happy to be the coach of the Kerala Kings in the T10 league which is the shortest format in the game and which is getting bigger and bigger. I will be joining team captain Eoin Morgan, owners Shafi Ul Mulk, Nader Adam Ali and Ali Askar. I am looking forward to go all the way and defend the title again.”
Speaking to Gulf News, immediately after finalising Vettori as the coach, co-owner Shafi said: “We are extremely delighted to bag the legendary New Zealander who is today globally respected as an astute cricketing brain. Vettori as coach, and Morgan as captain, will make a formidable combination in our serious bid to regain the T10 Trophy.”
Shafi then went on to reveal that their committee has decided to retain some of their key players. “As per T10 League committee policy we can retain some players and we have retained Kevin Pollard, Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz and Paul Sterling. The rest will be picked from the growing central pool of players with expected addition of South African and New Zealand players.”
Co-owner Adam Ali said that the decision to have Vettori is because he is very special. “Vettori is a winner and we are very happy to have got his services as Head coach and give ourselves a good chance to keep the trophy as the defending champions.”
Co — owner Ali Askar believes that Vettori’s presence itself will be inspirational. “Vettori was a great player. He has the experience to guide the team out of tough situations. His presence will surely inspire everyone in the team.”
Vettori as coach of the Bangalore team had recently worked closely with two of the top cricketers in the world — Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. As coach he enjoys seeing players put in the effort to excel and he recently commented on Kohli saying: “If you have an innate love for the game, it gets you through everything. He (Kohli) obviously wants to be the best in the world, he’s got the talent to do it but he has backed it up with intensity and also the desire to keep improving. That comes from a genuine love of the game.” What Vettori will be expecting from Kerala Kings players is also this intensity and desire to keep improving.
Owner Shafi wants Kerala Kings team to be a movement to attract more people into the game as the team has huge fan following not only in the UAE but also in Kerala and other places.