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Updated January 19th, 2024 at 16:58 IST

ILT20: Martin Guptill, Tom Kohler-Cadmore eye winning start for Sharjah Warriors against Gulf Giants

A new look Sharjah Warriors are being led by Tom Kohler-Cadmore, with the South African duo of Johan Botha and JP Duminy as the Head Coach.

Sharjah Warriors in training
Sharjah Warriors in training | Image:ILT20
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The curtains are set to rise on the much-awaited DP World ILT20, with the Sharjah Warriors taking on the defending champions Gulf Giants, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday.

A new look Sharjah Warriors are being led by Tom Kohler-Cadmore, with the South African duo of Johan Botha and JP Duminy as the Head Coach and Batting Coach, respectively. In their second season, the Sharjah Warriors, who are owned by Capri Sports, have put together a well-balanced squad with a healthy mix of international experience and local talent in the fray.

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The likes of Martin Guptill, Niroshan Dickwella, Kohler-Cadmore, Sean Williams, Chris Woakes and Maheesh Theekshana bring to the table not only experience but also incredible talent and ability with respect to the shorter formats in cricket.

“I am really looking forward to this season of the ILT20 in Dubai, it has all the elements for a fantastic month of competition. And franchise cricket is very different from international cricket of course, and for the Sharjah Warriors the most ideal way to kick start this month would be with a solid win on Day 1, when we take on the Gulf Giants,” said Guptill, one of the stalwarts of New Zealand cricket.

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Meanwhile, Sharjah Warriors’ skipper Kohler-Cadmore has some memories of playing in UAE in recent times, and hopes to continue that good run of form, apart from, of course, helping his team get off to a flyer.

“The Gulf Giants won’t be an easy team to play against, nor will any of the others. But, the Sharjah Warriors squad is well equipped to face whatever is thrown at us. We have our plans in place, and as long as we execute them the way we want to, and be the best version of ourselves during the game, we should be in a good place,” said Kohler-Cadmore.

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“Leading the Sharjah Warriors is a matter of great pride for me, and I am confident that the leadership group and the rest of the squad will step up to the plate when required. We have the experience and the ability, and we want to kick off the tournament with a good show on our home turf. We’ve all watched cricket tournaments at Sharjah, it would be like living a childhood dream if we can do well there,” the skipper quipped.

The ILT20 is unique in the way that it is the first tournament of the kind – a franchise T20 set up in an associate nation is not a common thing, but Guptill is keenly looking forward to the next month. And what has given the tournament a big boost in the second season, is the List A status that the ICC has awarded it.

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“From a players’ point of view, the stats get counted along with your career numbers, so for starters that is always a sense of motivation to go out there and perform. Plus, that helps raise the standards of the tournament, which could then have a roll-on effect on UAE cricket, and this tournament itself, as it can really grow by leaps and bounds. UAE is a great place to play cricket, and I have always enjoyed playing here,” Guptill explained.

Guptill has plenty to offer from his experience, after all he is one of the few to have scored a double hundred in ODI cricket, and among also among a handful to have played close to 500 T20 games at the highest level. One definitely expects his younger and lesser experienced Sharjah Warriors teammates to be picking his brains right from the get-go.

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“Being able to rub shoulders with some of the modern greats of the game gives a lot of the young players a fantastic chance to learn. So, the ILT20 for sure has a lot of potential, and hopefully we at Sharjah Warriors can be at the forefront of helping the UAE cricketing ecosystem turn a corner,” the Kiwi added.

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Published January 19th, 2024 at 16:58 IST

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