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Updated December 29th, 2023 at 23:55 IST

Gulf Giants Gears Up to Defend ILT20 Crown

Young UAE pacer Sanchit Sharma was a key player for the Adani Sportsline-owned Gulf Giants, who went on to win the inaugural edition of the ILT20.

Reported by: Republic Sports Desk
Sanchit Sharma
Sanchit Sharma | Image:ILT20
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Team Environment Key For Success. Says Sanchit Sharma as Adani Sportsline-owned Gulf Giants Gears Up to Defend ILT20 Crown

Young UAE pacer Sanchit Sharma was a key player for the Adani Sportsline-owned Gulf Giants, who went on to win the inaugural edition of the International League T20 in 2022, under the coaching of Zimbabwean legend Andy Flower. He took seven wickets in nine matches and was integral to the side during the run in to the trophy.

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The Adani Sportsline-owned Giants were brilliant in the inaugural season of the ILT20 and secured the trophy with a tough fight. Sharing his thoughts on what took them the distance, Sanchit said, "When I got selected for the Gulf Giants, all my fellow UAE teammates, all the players that got selected from UAE, and everyone agreed that for us to even qualify for the eliminators, let alone winning the tournament, looked tough.

"But, in terms of the environment, we have the best environment. Players understood each other very well, and their capabilities, which led us to the title," he added.

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However, this victory and the career that Sanchit has had till now was almost not meant to be. He met with an accident just before Diwali in 2021, but his resilience, and the help of the doctors, revived his fledgling career. "I can still remember it was two years ago on the eve of Diwali. I had instructions from home 'Please don't go on a festival day', mom was insisting. I told her, 'I'll just go for a couple of hours, I'll train and come back'. Just as I was about to reach the training centre when the accident happened. I was hurt pretty badly."

"I just got into the UAE men's side, and I thought everything would go away. And that's when I thought, 'You got to be stronger mentally.' It took me four or five months to get off my bed. God gave me a second chance, I always tell this to myself," he recalled.

Now having been retained by the Adani Sportsline-owned Gulf Giants, Sanchit revealed the reason behind his team's form and what makes them tick. "The management is brilliant with us. Maybe that's what has led to the environment to be nice. Coming in, I've always seen all these players on TV and always wanted to play against them. I had this feeling that I wouldn't get any better with them because they're big stars. But then the way they welcomed all the UAE players, that is what I meant by the environment is very good."

"We have the best environment, which is very important for any team," added Sanchit. "That is what will help us hopefully win the title again. And being a T20 bowler, the pitches are a lot flatter comparatively. We just need to level up our games. We just have to get on with our game and try to make the most of whatever opportunities we get," concluded the young pace icon.

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Published December 29th, 2023 at 23:55 IST

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