Abu Dhabi: Yuvraj Singh, the charismatic Indian all-rounder, has created a huge impression by his sheer presence in the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10 tournament, which concluded on Sunday. The star of India’s 2011 World Cup triumph has sent the TRP soaring owing to his presence.
Speaking to Gulf News, Shaji Ul Mulk, the Chairman and Founder of the league, said: “Yuvraj’s presence attracted fans to come in large numbers to the ground. We witnessed the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium completely packed with fans from across the world. They just wanted to see Yuvraj play. His participation in the league has more than doubled the TRP in India and we are very fortunate to have this legendary player as part of Maratha Arabians in the final.
Dwayne Bravo, skipper and teammate of ‘Yuvi’ at Maratha Arabians, feels that the impact Yuvraj created in the team on their journey to the final is laudable. “He [Yuvraj] has been very good in our team meetings and in the dressing room. You can’t buy that experience, which he carries with him. So it has been great having him in the side.”
Shaji also feels that the league has also created huge camaraderie through the presence of the stars. “We have seen a tremendous growth, outstanding global reach and excellent rapport among everyone associated with the league. We have many outstanding stars like Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Shane Watson and Kieron Pollard. One cricketer who stood out among all was Yuvraj.”
Incidentally, many have attributed Yuvraj’s presence in the dressing room and dugout to have created a positive impact on the Maratha Arabians’ fine show in the tournament.
The Arabians’ Afghanistan batsman Hazratullah Zazai, who hit six sixers in an over like Yuvraj, is delighted to have been spent time with Yuvraj. “Everyday, I got to talk with Yuvraj on cricket. I got many valuable tips from him. He gave me tips when he saw me struggle against a pacer as well as spinner. I am thrilled to have met him because I had seen his six sixes on TV many times. Along with Yuvraj, my other heroes are Chris Gayle and Hashim Amla.”
Commenting on the T10 format, Yuvraj said: “The way the game is evolving, T10 can be a very exciting format. T10 in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah has been very popular and the crowd has been huge as I saw on the ground. I feel it is something to look in the future.”
Asked to analyse on the art of playing T10, Yuvraj said: “Big hitters and players who are innovative in terms of using the fast bowlers’ pace in different directions succeeds. In T10, you don’t have that much liberty as you have in other formats because if you have three four dot balls, you have to get a run or get a big hit.” Maratha team owners Parvez Khan, Sohail Khan and Ali Tumbi are, meanwhile, delighted at having got Yuvraj to play for them. “When we added Yuvraj to a team with Chris Lynn, Dwayne Bravo and Lasith Malinga we knew we had lifted the strength of the team,” said Parvez.