Head coach Lance Klusener is confident and bullish about his team Morrisville SAMP Army’s chances in the upcoming sixth edition of Abu Dhabi T10, beginning on November 23.
The Morrisville SAMP Army is one of two new teams, the other being New York Strikers, in the 8-team tournament. The SAMP Army’s first game will be against the Bangla Tigers on November 24.
SAMP Army’s icon player is South African David Miller, who is among the most explosive batters in white-ball cricket, and Klusener is keen to make the most of abilities during the sixth season.
Speaking ahead of the season, the former South African cricketer said that he is expecting to see his batters do a fair amount of the heavy lifting, by clearing the ropes with high frequency, much like he did during his playing days.
“We’d like to get him (David Miller) in and make him face as many balls as possible. We’ve got Shimron Hetmyer and Moeen Ali, who’s extremely experienced in T10 cricket. So, it’s just about finding that balance. There’s no reason why one of them can’t open the batting. But I guess we’ll just have to work that out and see closer to the time,” Klusener said.
“We’re going to try our best to win the competition. There’s no reason why we can’t. T10 is always evolving and teams change quite a lot actually, so there’s no reason why we can’t hit the ground running and hang onto the silverware,” he added.
When asked if the shorter format favoured batters more and wasn’t as kind to the bowlers, the former all-rounder said, “I think pretty much all the players that are playing in the leagues are coming from a system. Top quality players are not necessarily coming to the league’s to learn skills. They need to deliver a certain skill set.
“Yes, and there’s a focus on that on a certain skill level, but there’s also players who come to the leagues and do well, and have made it into their national teams because of their performances,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Morrisville SAMP Army are also keen to spread their wings around the cricket world. Team owner Ritesh Patel said that giving a platform to cricketers from the USA is also high on their agenda.
“We have a long-term plan. My entire team is working on expansion. And in the next few years you will see the SAMP army is going to be all over the world. One will be able to see our name everywhere,” said Patel.
“We wanted to give our exposure to several US players and also wanted to get it into this fast and challenging format. And T10 is one of the best formats and especially the way Abu Dhabi 10 is run,” he added.
The team owner also explained that the SAMP Army are looking to tap into the grassroots in cricket in the USA.
“We have already laid out plans since the last quite a few years in the USA. We have been working with lots of youth cricketers. We have given lots of youngsters a chance in cricket in the USA, in lots of schools and everywhere because that’s the right way to do so. We’re really working hard in grassroot cricket and want to give exposure to players who deserve it,” Patel signed off.
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