DP World ILT20: Desert Vipers sign up Chandimal

Apart from the Sri Lankan, the franchise have also acquired left-arm wrist spinner Jake Lintott and fast-bowling all-rounder Gus Atkinson

By Team KT

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Dinesh Chandimal. — AFP
Dinesh Chandimal. — AFP

Published: Tue 20 Dec 2022, 8:07 PM

Former Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal headlines three new additions to an already powerful Desert Vipers line-up, along with left-arm wrist spinner Jake Lintott and fast-bowling all-rounder Gus Atkinson.

The three signings will feature in the Desert Vipers squad that will play at the inaugural ILT20 tournament in the UAE early next year.

Tom Moody, the Desert Vipers Director of Cricket, is thrilled with the new signings and believes Chandimal’s leadership qualities, Gus Atkinson’s genuine pace and Jake Lintott’s subtleties combine to add great value to an already outstanding group of players while adding depth, flexibility, and variety.

Dinesh Chandimal has a vast amount of international experience having played 70 Tests, 157 ODIs and 58 T20 Internationals for Sri Lanka, and captained the team in a total of 57 matches. And Tom Moody believes this will be invaluable to the side.

“The real positive with Dinesh is he is a natural leader, and he has had those responsibilities with Sri Lanka,” said Moody. “He is a versatile cricketer who can offer a position anywhere in the batting order. He is also a highly recognised wicketkeeper and if we want to play him as a pure batter, he is (also) more than capable in the field.”

Chandimal is not currently in the Sri Lankan T20I squad and believes the ILT20 is a chance for him to show the world that he still has what it takes at a high level.

“This (ILT20) is a real opportunity to showcase your talent,” he said. “If you can perform well, you can show the world how capable you are in T20 cricket. I am really thankful to the Desert Vipers management and coaching staff for giving me this opportunity to come and play in this league. I am looking forward to doing well, and I cannot wait to play in the tournament.

“(In) this kind of forum, if you can perform well, it means good things for your future. If you can perform well, you can represent any league in the world. So, this is a forum for us as players, not just senior players but younger players as well, to showcase their talent in front of crowds.”

Tom Moody, too, believes a tournament like the ILT20 can help Chandimal remind the Sri Lankan selectors of his talent.

“It is a terrific opportunity for him (Chandimal). He was on the reserve list for the T20 World Cup but did not quite make the final cut. He is not far away, and Sri Lanka recognise he is a valuable T20 player but in that role with the wicketkeeper-batting role, they (Sri Lanka) are a bit spoilt for choice.

“So, his main selection priority is for 50-over cricket and Test cricket, but he is also smashing down that T20 door. Having an impact in the ILT20 with the Desert Vipers is only going to do someone like him a world of good, as it reminds the Sri Lankan selectors and the world of cricket that he is a genuine three format player. He has been doing that recently in the Lanka Premier League where he is having an impact with some good performances so, all-round, we are thrilled to have him as part of our team.”

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