Likening the Abu Dhabi T10 to the Indian Premier League (IPL), England player Luke Wright says the star-studded tournament offers the UAE players a great opportunity to play alongside the legends of the game.
The 35-year-old Wright is back in the Capital to defend the Team Abu Dhabi colours when the 2021 season of the T10 league gets underway at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
All the eight teams need to field at least one UAE player in the playing eleven as per the tournament’s rule. And Wright believes this gives the local talent a wonderful stage a exhibit their talent.
“We have seen in all the tournaments, how much it has benefitted the young players. We have seen in the IPL now how the young Indian players have emerged since the IPL came about, the fielding, the strength and conditioning, the way they play, it has just gone through the roof,” Wright told Khaleej Times during an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
The likes of Rohan Mustafa, Zahoor Khan, Vritiya Arvind, Aryan Lakra, Karthik Meiyappan and Alishan Sharafu will test their skills against some of the world’s best limited overs players in the tournament (January 28-February 6).
“Last year, we had Rohan (Mustafa), who was brilliant for us and hopefully he can do well again this year. It’s great for them to learn from people, it’s something the franchise cricket has really helped the game. The youngsters can learn so much, how to go about the game, how to play spin. There is certainly huge lessons to learn. We can all learn from each other, which is great.”
Wright, who has played 50 ODIs and 51 T20Is for England, says all the players are excited about the latest edition of the highly successful T10 League.
“I think if you ask all the players, they all love playing here. It’s no surprise that the best players in the world, all want to come and play in the T10 tournament,” he said.
“I think the T10 is great fun, I know lot of people enjoy watching it. It tests your skills even more than T20 because it’s the shorter period, as a bowler and as a batter, your skills come under massive scrutiny, so, you have to be on top of your game. I think it’s a great challenge. That’s why I enjoy this format so much.”
Despite having some big names in Team Abu Dhabi, Wright says it’s impossible to predict the winner.
“I think the expectation is, just try to win the next game you play. It’s always a cliche not to look too far ahead, but that’s certainly the case as, you know, all the teams look strong on paper,” he said.
“You look at all the teams, you can say every team is going to be dangerous, so I think in such a short format, you need only one or two players to play a huge role.
“I think every team has got dangerous players, but luckily we have got a really good side. I am excited about playing and let’s hope we can be successful,” said Wright who scored 208 runs at 52 (strike rate 174.48) in the 2019 edition of the tournament.
“This year we have got some big names, obviously Chris Gayle is the biggest name of all the players. If we can get a few of us in good form, it’s going to make a huge difference.”