'Future of cricket in UAE very bright', says Gulf Giants' Aayan Khan ahead of ILT20 2024

The batter made history in the T20 World Cup 2022 by becoming the youngest player to play at the tournament at the age of 16

By ANI

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UAE's Aayan Khan bats during a Twenty20 match. - AFP File
UAE's Aayan Khan bats during a Twenty20 match. - AFP File

Published: Fri 12 Jan 2024, 3:03 PM

One of the players to watch out for in the upcoming International League T20 (ILT20) 2024 is young bowling all-rounder Aayan Khan, who will turn out for the Adani Sportsline-owned Gulf Giants for a second season running.

Aayan, who made history in the T20 World Cup 2022 by becoming the youngest player to play at the tournament at the age of just 16, was also a part of the Gulf Giants team that won the trophy the first time around. The youngster is ready to help the side retain the ILT20 Trophy.

"It feels great to be playing for the Gulf Giants in the second season of the ILT20, especially after winning the first season of the tournament," he said.

"Having already won the trophy, retaining it is the main objective for season 2 of the mega cricket extravaganza. This team plays like a family. Hence, the first season was a remarkable one. We enjoyed every moment," he told the media in an interaction.

In a squad with multiple international talents, one player whom the spinner is keen on working with is Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman.

"One player I am very excited to be playing with is the Afghanistan spinner, Mujeeb Ur Rahman," said Khan. "He is a great spinner. I expect to learn a lot from him, especially if he is in form."

At the same time, he also looks forward to sharing the dressing room with some of the biggest names in Caribbean cricket as well.

"There are two players from the West Indies -- Dominic Drakes and Carlos Braithwaite -- I have played with them in other leagues as well," said Khan. "So, the bond that I have with these players is very good. I have learnt a lot from these players while sharing the dressing room with them. In T20s, they have a very good name and I am excited to be playing another season with them," shared an excited Aayan."

Concluding his conversation, the spinner wants to translate his form in the last few months and take his team to the next level. He also credited the improvement of the UAE side and sees a bright future for the sport in the country.

"I want to give my 100 per cent in every match and make a name for myself. This is my aim with both the national team and with the Gulf Giants. I have been playing very well for the last year and I hope to continue this form heading into season two of the ILT20," he said.

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"The future of cricket in the UAE is very bright. The grounds and training facilities have improved massively, and we can see many young players coming out of UAE in the future. Earlier, as you can see we reached the U19 Asia Cup final, which itself is a sign of the bright future of the sport in the country," Khan added.

The second season of ILT20 will be played from January 19 to February 18 this year. It will feature six teams, Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, Desert Vipers, Gulf Giants, Dubai Capitals, MI Emirates and Sharjah Warriors.


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