T10 League: Bengal Tigers look to strengthen squad ahead of edition 2

The Bengal Tigers already boast of several impressive players in their batting unit.

Bengal Tigers
Bengal Tigers. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Shubham Ghosh
Shubham Ghosh

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Bengal Tigers, one of the teams of Heera Group T10 League, have decided to strengthen their team for the second edition this year. The team management decided to rope in some of the most destructive T20 players in the world on Monday, July 23, following the holding of the mini-draft of the tournament at Habtoor City, Dubai.

According to a report in Gulf News, Tigers, who are captained by Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed last year, chose England’s dashing batsman Jason Roy, who has scored 4,534 runs in 176 T20 games and was in a great form in the recently concluded T20I series against India. They also picked English wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings and Pakistani talent Asif Ali, who had played for Bengal Tigers’ owner Danube in the UAE’s domestic cricket.

The Tigers will, however, miss Ahmed at the helm for he will be busy with national commitments during the league, scheduled in November. They will be announcing a new captain soon.

‘Plan is to create a young team’

Anis Sajan, a mentor of the Tigers, told Gulf News after the draft holding: “Our plan is to create a young team after our experience in the first edition. We have learned from our mistakes last year. We picked Roy because he is a dashing opener who will complement our opener, Sunil Narine. They will go for the runs right away. We opted for Billings because we needed a wicketkeeper-batsman as Sarfraz will be on national duties. We will decide on a new captain soon.”

On Ali, 26, Sajan said after his stint with the Danube for three years, Ali has a strike rate of 180 in ODIs and 140 in T20s.

“It shows how destructive he can be as a batsman. We have also retained Afghanistan young mystery spinner Mujeeb Zadran,” Sajan, who has the backing of team owner Neelesh Bhatnagar and his think tank comprising Girish Dongre, Manish Kishore, and Maroof Fajandar, over picking of players.

Shaji Ul Mulk, chairman of the league – the shortest invented for the game of cricket till date – said T10 had an “amazing first season” and the impact was so deeply felt that talks are being held now over its consideration for the Olympics, the report added.

Kerala Kings, the inaugural champions, released Pakistani fast bowler Wahab Riaz and opted for Sri Lanka’s hard-hitting middle-order batsman and right-hand medium pacer Dasun Shanaka. Mulk, who also owns Kerala, said the full team will be formalized in the presence of skipper Eoin Morgan during the main draft which is expected to be held on September 2.

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