Abu Dhabi, 12 January 2021: One of the greatest players to have ever graced the game of cricket – Kumar Sangakkara will be stepping in as the team mentor for Team Abu Dhabi in the second season of Abu Dhabi T10, which is powered by sky247net. The competition is set to be held at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi from 28th January – 6th February 2021.
During a media conference on Monday, the Sri Lankan legend expressed that a good bowling line-up is the key to winning matches in the T10 format, “As in the T20 format, your bowling line-up has to do a lot of work in terms of winning games (in the T10 format). Yes, a team needs to have the runs on the board and the ability to score them but more often than not, the sides that have the variety and smarts in their bowling line-ups, usually win the shorter formats of the tournament, especially in pressure situations.”
When asked about his role in the team as the mentor, the 2014 World T20-winning player said that he will look to make the players understand the importance of taking calculative risks, “As a mentor, it’s basically about getting players to understand that there’s no reward without risk, what are the calculative risks to be taken and the players need to have an open and creative mind, right from ball one to be able to do well in the T10 format. A lot of the players, who come here, are international stars, players that are playing at a high level of domestic or franchise cricket around the world and there are also young cricketers, who are extremely talented, but need a little bit more help in terms of understanding their own abilities and what is needed in terms of converting that in terms of performances on the field.”
Speaking about the future of Test cricket amid the rising popularity of the T10 format, Sangakkara said, “Cricket is for everyone and when I say everyone, it’s a large cross-section of people with different likes and dislikes. It’s been wonderful to see the way cricket is continuously growing across various formats and feeding that passion and appetite for entertainment sports across the world. The only thing we have to be careful of is that it (T10) shouldn’t be played at the cost of another format, but it is in some ways beneficial to the longevity of formats like Test cricket. With new shots and attacking captaincy, the shorter versions have done a lot of good and made Test cricket more exciting.”
Team Abu Dhabi have some star players in their line-up, which include Chris Gayle, Chris Morris and Alex Hales, but Sangakkara said that Team Abu Dhabi will not be only about the experienced players, “We have some superstar players in our team, but we also have some competent young players from around the world. It’s really about how well we can put together a side that compliments each other and that can withstand match-ups against its opposition. We would like to play an exciting brand of cricket, put down everything on the line in terms of effort, planning, strategy and tactics and hopefully, that will be enough to win.”