Playing tournaments like ILT20 will help Afghanistan players gain experience, help in cricketing life: Mohammad Nabi

Come 2023 and the cricketing world will be welcoming a new franchise league named the ILT20, to be held between six teams comprising 34 matches in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi from January 13 to February 12.

With many international cricketers from around the world set to be a part of the league, Afghanistan will be thoroughly represented in the league with ten cricketers being a part of the tournament, including veteran off-spin all-rounder Mohammad Nabi, who will be turning out for Sharjah Warriors.

At the Sharjah Warriors, Nabi is joined by his fellow Afghanistan mates Noor Ahmad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, and Naveen-ul-Haq. Hazratullah Zazai and Mujeeb Ur Rahman will be playing for Dubai Capitals, while Qais Ahmed will be turning out for Gulf Giants.

Najibullah Zadran, Zahir Khan, and Fazalhaq Farooqui will be plying their trade for MI Emirates. “It shows that we have a bunch of talent in Afghanistan. That’s why everyone is picking Afghani players for the T20 leagues. And these players are getting experience from the tournaments and will give more motivation and experience for national side.”

“They will play with the international players as well. They will get that experience and this will help a lot in their cricketing life as well,” said Nabi to IANS ahead of the inaugural edition of the tournament.

The Sharjah team has a formidable look in captain Moeen Ali, Dawid Malan and Evin Lewis along with Chris Woakes, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Bilal Khan, JJ Smit, Chris Benjamin, Danny Briggs, and Mark Deyal. They also have solid local talent picks in Karthik Meiyappan, Alishan Sharafu, Junaid Siddique and Jawad Ullah

Nabi is optimistic that the side will fare well in the tournament where the conditions could be hugely in favour of spinners. “Expecting a good score from bunch of young & experienced talent and power. Good bowling attack as well.”

“We have a good quality spin bowling attack. Sharjah Warriors is a brilliant side and hope we will perform well in the tournament.”

Nabi has been living in Ajman, UAE since 2021 due to the growing unrest in Afghanistan, and had played in a local T20 tournament at Sharjah alongside his son Hassan Khan in January this year.

With Sharjah going to be one of three venues for ILT20, Nabi hopes to use the experience of playing in the UAE for the Warriors. “Yeah, really excited. I love to play cricket in this ground and have a lot of experience over here as well. And hopefully that experience will help my team to be champion.”

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