Dubai: The Rajputs are gunning for the title in the second edition of the T10 League, to be held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium from November 21 to December 2.
Speaking to Gulf News, Vijay Vyas, the co-owner of the team along with Arvind Venkatesh Reddy, said: “We have young guns who are making a mark in international cricket and can win matches for us. Keep an eye on Afghanistan’s Qais Ahmad, who was the Emerging Player of the Afghanistan Premier League and West Indies pacer Oshane Thomas, who impressed everyone in the recent series against India.”
Reddy, who carries with him the experience of being the owner of the Bellary Tuskers in the Karnataka Premier League, said: “The beauty of our team is that we have a mix of youth and experience. To guide the youngsters, we have one of the world most experienced cricketers in Brendon McCullum.”
Vyas announced that McCullum will be captaining the team, in addition to being their icon player.
“To guide the youngsters and get them to give their best, we have chosen a coach, who is apt for this format in Herschelle Gibbs. He was one of the finest hard-hitters in the game.”
The team also has the West Indies 2016 World Cup hero Carlos Brathwaite and Afghanistan’s hard hitting opener Mohammad Shahzad in its ranks.
“Brathwaite is a cricketer who could change the result of a World Cup final in just one over and he is cut out for this format. Shahzad too has won many international matches through his breezy knocks,” said Reddy.
Vyas is also excited over the fact that Shahzad sparkled in the Asia Cup with a century against Team India.
“Shahzad, Brathwaite and Rilee Rossouw are players who can win matches on their own and that is what is needed in this format,” Vyas said.
Rajputs also made sure that they picked the player who is familiar with UAE conditions by choosing UAE national team captain Rohan Mustafa.
“We are delighted at having picked Mustafa in the squad along with opener Ashfaq Ahmad. Both have been consistent and heavy scorers for UAE in international matches.”
Both owners believe an allround combination is a must to win in this format.
“We have ensured we have a bowling strength good enough to not only check run flow but also take wickets in England’s Tymal Mills and Samit Patel, Qais Ahmad and Oshane Thomas. By getting India’s Munaf Patel who carries the experience of wrecking many teams, we have a strong bowling attack,” said Vyas.
“Over and above all mentioned players, we have players who have all made a mark in shorter formats like Chris Lynn, Laurie Evans, Ben Dunk, Peter Trego, Karim Janat and Sayed Firshad.”