Bengal Tigers sign Roy, Billings and Ali for T10 Cricket League
The trio are expected to sharpen the teeth of Bengal Tigers, who are in the rebuilding process
England stalwarts - hard-hitting opener Jason Roy and wicket-keeper batsman Sam Billings along with Pakistan's power-hitter Asif Ali were among Bengal Tigers' prized inductions during Monday's mini-draft held for the forthcoming T10 Cricket League to be held in the UAE.
The trio are expected to sharpen the teeth of Bengal Tigers, who are in the rebuilding process after losing out some key players including Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed.
After the successful hosting of the first edition which saw six teams compete last year, Season 2 will now see a total of eight teams vie for top honours.
Despite being hit by the unavailability of Sarfraz, due to national team duty, Bengal Tigers were able to bolster their Season 2 team thanks to some meticulous planning on the part of Anis Sajan's sharp cricketing acumen along with guidance of team owner Neelesh Bhatnagar as well as the team think tank that included Girish Dongre, Manish Kishore and Maroof Fajandar.
For any team undergoing a rebuilding process, the receipe for success lies in seeking young dynamic performers and the selection of Jason Roy, England's highest scorer (180 runs) in an ODI against Australia recently, was a master stroke, just what the Bengal Tigers needed.
It is never easy to replace a player like Sarfraz, but Sam Billings will be entrusted the role to fill in the void. The explosive wicket-keeper batsman who was the second pick in the draft, has impressed everyone with the performances in the last year's Big Bash.
Meanwhile, Asif Ali, the only batsman to have a strike-rate of 180 in ODIs and over 140 in T20s was the third and the final pick of the day for Bengal Tigers.
"Pakistan team needs a power-hitter like Asif Ali", former Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-haq once said referring to Asif's performance in the Pakistan Super League for Islamabad United.
Afghanistan teen Mujeeb Zadran, who spun his way into the record books when he became the youngest bowler to take a five-wicket haul in an ODI was the only player to be retained by Bengal Tigers.
Sunil Narine, who was the first pick by Mr. Cricket last year but was not able to participate due to personal reasons has been picked up again this year by the Bengal Tigers as an Icon player.
The squad looked very calculative with its choice of players in the latest draft but by the end of the day, looked one of the best sides on paper.
The combination of Sajan and his think tank ensured meticulous planning and management delivered them the first victory towards developing a strong squad ahead of Season 2. Sajan added: "The seven other squads look balanced and I expect strong competition in the main draft." The main draft for T10 Season 2 is expected to be held on Sept. 2.
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