Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin is all set to take up the role of team mentor for the Northern Warriors in the upcoming season of Abu Dhabi T10 starting January 28 at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Azharuddin said he will be observing all the practice sessions and matches carried out by Warriors very keenly.
“I will be watching everything very keenly as the mentor of the Northern Warriors. Actually, the coach runs the team, so I will be giving advice to the players and coaches as the mentor of the team. If I find something is not up to the mark or my advice is needed for something, that’s when I will step in as a mentor,” he said.
Even though the Warriors have many star players such as Lendl Simmons and Nicholas Pooran in their side, Azharuddin made it very clear that he is not looking forward to working with only a few players.
“For me, there’s not one player that I am looking forward to working with, but I am looking forward to working with all the players in the Northern Warriors team. My role as a mentor is to look after the entire team,” said the former India captain.
When asked about his thoughts on the fast-paced T10 format, Azharuddin said that one would get a better idea about the format if it’s played in more countries.
“T10 is a good format, but it’s held only in the UAE at the moment. If there are more T10 tournaments all over the world, then only we will know how good the format would be. As of now, the T10 has picked up as this is the fourth year (second edition of Abu Dhabi T10 and fourth year of the tournament overall) that the tournament is being held in the UAE.”
The former India captain, who played 99 Tests and 334 ODIs, said that he enjoyed Test cricket and ODIs during his career, but he is not sure if he would have enjoyed the T10 format.
“I am not sure if I would have enjoyed playing T10, unless I play a game here and there, which is not possible at the moment. I really enjoyed Test cricket and One-day cricket. So, I don’t know if I would have enjoyed T10 or not, because unless you play, you won’t understand,” said Azharuddin.
The co-owner of the Northern Warriors team — Mohomed Morani — said that Azharuddin’s experience at the highest level will be hugely beneficial for the players.
“We are looking forward to another cracker of a season and we are absolutely delighted to have Mohammad Azharuddin as the mentor of the Northern Warriors team. His sound knowledge of the game and experience at the highest level will be hugely beneficial for our players,” Morani.
PKL 8: Patna Pirates beat Puneri Paltan 38-26
Raider Sachin scored 10 points as three-time champions Patna Pirates defeated Puneri Paltan 38-26 in Match 17 of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, on Tuesday. Sachin scored a Super 10 (10 points) and was ably supported by Patna’s defensive trio of Sunil (4 points), Mohammadreza Chiyaneh (3 points), and Sajin C (3 points). The lack of a quality raider despite promising performances from youngsters will be a cause of concern for the Puneri Paltan who succumbed to their second loss in three matches.
All eyes were once again on Pune’s Rahul Chaudhari but the showman, despite starting the match, was substituted for young Mohit Goyat by coach Anup Kumar in the first half. The trio of raiders including Aslam Inamdar and Pankaj Mohite caused problems for the Patna defence while at the other end Prashant Kumar Rai and Sachin were equally effective.
Patna were facing the risk of an all-out with six minutes left to half-time, but their defender Sajin C completed a Super Tackle to turn the momentum. The three-time champions got lucky later when Monu Goyat entered the lobby without contact, in a do-or-die raid only to be followed by three Pune defenders who had been deceived by his actions. The first half ended 14-14 with Pune having just two men on the mat.
Pune coach Anup Kumar clearly expected from his set of raiders and brought in Shubham Shelke for Pankaj Mohite in the second half. But Patna kept fighting back, thanks to the largely confident tackles from the likes of Mohammadreza Chiyaneh and Sajin. With 10 minutes remaining, Patna had a four-point lead and that was extended a’ Pune’s plan to play on the Do-or-Die raid backfired. Sachin scored two points in the crucial raid for Patna to inspire another ALL OUT in the 13th minute and open a 10-point lead.
Patna maintained the momentum and though Sunil and Vishal Bharadwaj picked up yellow cards in the final minutes as the match became intense the three-time champions ensured there was no late comeback by Pune and clinched an important win.
PKL 8: Bengal Warriors beat Gujarat Giants
Bengal Warriors defeated Gujarat Giants 31-28 on Day 3 of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 held at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, here on Friday. This was Bengal Warriors’ second win in as many matches while Gujarat Gaints have one win and one loss. The Warriors have 10 points the same as Dabang Delhi but are placed second on a lower points-difference while Gujarat have six points.
Bengal Warriors started well and established a slender lead (16-11) against Gujarat Giants at half-time. They maintained their advantage despite the valiant efforts of the Gujarat Giants, managed to register a narrow victory.
Maninder Singh was the top scorer for Bengal Warriors with eight points while Esmaeil Nabibakhsh contributed four points.
Bengal Warriors won 18 raid points as against 19 by Gujarat Giants. But it was in defence that they scored, claiming 10 points as against eight by their rivals. They bagged two all-outs as against none by the Giants.
Rakesh Narwal was the top scorer for Gujarat Giants with 12 points while Rakesh Sungroya contributed four points.
Rishabh Pant appointed as Uttarakhand’s brand ambassador
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Sunday announced that Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been appointed as the brand ambassador of the state.
Taking to Twitter, the Chief Minister said that Pant will encourage the youngsters to take up sports.
“One of the best cricket players of India, the idol of youth and son of Uttarakhand, Rishabh Pant has been appointed as “State Brand Ambassador” by our government with the aim of encouraging the youth of the state towards sports and public health,” tweeted Dhami in Hindi, along with the video.
In the video, CM Dhami can be seen interacting with Rishabh and asking about his well-being.
The attacking batter also thanked the Chief Minister for the opportunity, saying that he will try his best to motivate people towards fitness.
“Thank you @pushkardhami sir for giving me the opportunity to be the Brand Ambassador of promoting Sports and General Health among the people of Uttarakhand. I’ll do my best to spread this message and feeling happy that you are taking these steps towards a fitter India,” tweeted Pant.
“Coming from a small town of Roorkee, I am confident that the people here have the ability to make the country proud in various fields of life,” he added.
The 24-year Pant, who was rested for the New Zealand Tests, is currently in Johannesburg, South Africa as the Indian Team is all set to face Proteas in the three-match Test series, starting December 26.
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