Rohan Mustafa will have a bigger role to play aside from his all-round abilities during the fourth edition of the Abu Dhabi T10.
The former UAE captain, who has played in all four seasons of the T10 tournament including its earlier guise, was named second in command to Team Abu Dhabi captain Luke Wright for the tournament that will be played at the Zayed Cricket Stadium from January 28 to February 6.
"It's a big role and an opportunity for me on such a big stage" Mustafa told The National on Monday.
“Thank you to Team Abu Dhabi for the faith and trust that have placed in me. I was playing with Luke Wright for Team Abu Dhabi last year and we have been talking most of the time, and even today in the lead-up to the tournament.
“T10 obviously is a fast format and whatever we have to do on the pitch has to be decided and done quickly, whether it’s batting or bowling.”
Musatafa has played a lot of cricket at the Zayed Cricket Stadium and brings that experience and local knowledge to the table.
“It’s been a very lucky ground for me,” he added. “The experience matters because a lot of players come from around the world and I can share my knowledge of the ground.”
Maratha Arabians cruise to Abu Dhabi T10 title
Mustafa also shares a good relationship with Team Abu Dhabi coach Dougie Brown from when he was in charge of the UAE national team.
“It’s very easy to work with a coach with whom I have worked for the last three years,” he said.
“We share that kind of relationship to trust each other. Dougie knows my abilities and my game as well.
“My preparation for T10 started as soon as I was drafted to the team. I really wanted to come down and practice my yorkers and variations with Dougie but couldn’t make it because of the pandemic.”
Mustafa said most of the players in the tournament are professionals and have played the game at the top level, and they know what is expected from them.
“They won’t take much time to adapt as a team,” he pointed out. “You can’t tell each and everyone what to do and what not to do. They are absolute professionals and know their jobs.
“For me, I will be happy to contribute with my bowling which I have done quite well in the past seasons.
“Obviously I’m very excited and looking forward for the tournament. It has been such a long time playing at this level. It’s a great opportunity for us to play side by side with players like Chris Gayle and Luke Wright.”
Mustafa believes the format is a good opportunity for those preparing for the T20 games.
“If you do well in the T10 format then you can do even better in T20,” he said. “Sometimes you may think T10 cricket is to go out there and slog each and every ball but it’s actually not, there are 60 balls to play.”
Maratha Arabians meet Northern Warriors in the opening game of the tournament followed by the game between Deccan Gladiators and Pune Devils and Delhi Bulls versus Bangla Tigers.
Pune Devils face Qalandars in the first match on Day 2 while Maratha Arabians take on Delhi Bulls and Deccan Gladiators play Team Abu Dhabi.