Several fringe cricketers in the UAE will get the chance to pick the brains of former internationals Herschelle Gibbs, Munaf Patel and Ajantha Mendis when they cut their teeth in an overseas franchise tournament.
Jamshaid Butt, Ali Abid, JD Mahesh, Vibhor Shahi, Faizan Asif, Nadeem Rahim will represent the Goodland Riders in the inaugural Mauritius Cric10 League, while Faraz Sheikh, Ashok Kumar, Thabreez Ali, Janaka Chathuranga, Muzammil Afridi, Ameer Hamza will suit up for Rose Hill Warriors.
The tournament takes place at the Anjalay Stadium from November 30 to December 14.
The 12 players along with Shadab Ahamed, franchise coordinator for the UAE cricketers and player development officer for Indo-Pak Sports, left for Mauritius on a charter flight from Dubai International Airport on Tuesday.
“All those travelling are very excited because it’s the first time they have got this opportunity to play in a franchise event overseas,” Ahamed, who is also the team manager of Goodlands Riders, said before their departure.
“All those travelling from the UAE will be in a bio bubble from the time we land in Mauritius until return.
“The players are provided free travel and stay, plus a match fee. It is an opportunity for them to build a name for themselves with so many franchise tournaments taking place worldwide.
“Also, it’s a new experience for them to play alongside former internationals and First Class players from established cricket nations.”
The 10-over tournament is the biggest to be staged by the Mauritius Cricket Federation with the six franchise teams flying in more than 150 players and officials from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, Bangladesh, Canada and the UAE.
Joining Gibbs and company as the iconic players are John Blain, Danza Hyatt, Hammad Azam and former UAE wicketkeeper batsman Swapnil Patel.
Some of the ex-international players taking part include Chamara Silva, Malinga Bandara, Umair Ali Khan, Preston Mommsen, Phil Mustard, Gavin Hamilton and Danish Kaneria
The six teams in the Mauritius Cric10 are Curepipe Crushers, Goodlands Riders, Mahebourg Storms, Saint Pierre Quakers, Bambous Raptors and Rose Hill Warriors named after the iconic places in Mauritius.