White credits Afridi, Warner for big crowds at ILT20 in UAE

The impact of players like David Warner and Shaheen Shah Afridi can be seen in the stands

by

Rituraj Borkakoty

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Fans cheer in support of their team during the match between Desert Vipers and  Sharjah Warriors at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. — ILT20
Fans cheer in support of their team during the match between Desert Vipers and Sharjah Warriors at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. — ILT20

Published: Mon 29 Jan 2024, 10:14 PM

Australian World Cup legend David Warner may not have scored a lot of runs so far in his first season at the ILT20, but the impact of players like him and Shaheen Shah Afridi can be seen in the stands.

David White, CEO of the ILT20, credits Warner and Afridi for the impressive turnout at the three stadiums — Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi and the historic Sharjah Cricket Stadium — this season.

“I could not be happier, to be honest. I mean if you look at the crowd, we have more than 13,000 people here (in Sharjah) today (Sunday), just a week after the start of the tournament. The crowds have been terrific,” White told the Khaleej Times during the match between Sharjah Warriors and the Desert Vipers in Sharjah on Sunday.

David White, CEO of the ILT20, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. — Photo by Rituraj Borkakoty
David White, CEO of the ILT20, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. — Photo by Rituraj Borkakoty

Afridi’s Vipers ended up losing the contest by seven runs, but the stadium was roaring every time the Pakistan speedster ran into bowl those scorching in-swingers.

“These international superstars have made an amazing impact. I think particularly in Sharjah, the Pakistani community is big. Look at the crowd, they are just loving every moment of Shaheen. It’s fantastic for the league.”

The second season of the league has also seen some fantastic performances from the UAE players like Muhammad Waseem, Alishan Sharafu and Muhammad Jawadullah.

“Alishan (of Abu Dhabi Knight Riders) played a big knock (82 against Desert Vipers), and Waseem (MI Emirates) has played some great knocks. It’s fantastic for these players to play with world-class players,” White said.

“I mean David Warner, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Trent Boult, these are amazing players. It just adds to the depth of the league.

“I think this league is going to play a huge role in the development of the game in the UAE.”

Warner, according to White, has been hugely impressed with the six-team franchise tournament in the UAE, the first associate country to host a tournament of this size.

“I spoke to David, he is liking the tournament. The weather is beautiful, also he has brought his family, they are staying in the same hotel. Beautiful hotels here, it’s a really nice place to be with the families. So, that’s one of the biggest attractions for the players in this tournament,” he said.

“There are no flights to catch, apart from the bus trips to the games. So, it’s a big advantage.”

ALSO READ:


More news from Sports