Coached by the former English cricketer Carl Crowe, the New York Strikers’ squad in the Abu Dhabi T10 League has players such as Kieron Pollard and England’s ODI winning World Cup captain Eoin Morgan.
The team will be mentored by the Indian legend Yuvraj Singh, and are banking on their batting depth at the Abu Dhabi T10 this year.
Speaking ahead of the season, coach Carl Crowe said, “One of our goals during the draft was to pick a squad with huge depth batting wise so you can look at some of the names we bat all the way down the order to 8, 9, 10. Whichever combination we select, so we are happy with the depth rather than necessarily picking out one player.”
Come the season, the coach will have his task cut out in terms of planning and zeroing in on the playing combinations to make sure the team paints a clear picture of their ambitions.
“I think the beauty of our squad is a nice balance between youth and experience the likes of Pollard, Wahab, Eoin Morgan. These guys have got brilliant experience in the World Cup Finals in winning, winning important tournaments and playing in all kind of franchise tournaments. We have some nice young players like Tom Hartley and Izharulhaq Naveed who have experience in franchise tournaments and did well.”
Considered to be the fastest format in cricket, T10 shines the spotlight on the players’ ability to get going from the very moment they take the field.
“You have to get going straightaway, and in practice you’re also not easing into it. You have to bat or bowl like you’d do it in the game. One of the exciting bits in T10 for the fans, players and coaches is that the game moves very quickly and in practice it’s essential to replicate that. But, also have to be calm inside your head, and that’s where the coaches and the support staff have a big part to play, by making sure there is clarity about the roles, so players can produce the fast brand of cricket with a cool head.”
The New York Strikers are looking to make the kind of impact that is synonymous with the Big Apple, Team Owner Sagar Khanna is pretty clear about the franchise’s plans.
“What attracted us to UAE is that we wanted to take a step forward from being a franchise owner in the US. So, it seemed to us that the Abu Dhabi T10 is a good platform and good stepping stone, especially since the UAE is the hub of franchise cricket,” he said.
“The long-term vision is to popularise the franchise globally and create a fan base globally too. We are very popular back in the USA and have won multiple championships over there. Our vision is to take the franchise globally, and every fresh challenge is exciting and the T10 format is very exciting too.”
The new season of the Abu Dhabi T10 will kick off on November 23 with the final on 4th December. The two-week tournament will see international cricket stars compete in a short and exciting 10 over format. The New York Strikers play Bangla Tigers in the first game of the tournament on November 23.