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Wanindu Hasaranga, Colin Munro among retained players for Desert Vipers in ILT20 ahead of season two

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Wanindu Hasaranga, Colin Munro among retained players for Desert Vipers in ILT20 ahead of season two

“One of the main objectives in the retention process for 2024 was to retain a strong core of players that helped us reach the final in 2023 in the inaugural year of the ILT20. Having some world-class players on our lists like Wanindu Hasaranga, Alex Hales and our captain Colin Munro, just to mention a few; gives us confidence knowing that they are strong pillars to help build another strong campaign moving into the second year of the ILT20,” said Director of Cricket Tom Moody in a statement.

Hales, a member of England’s 2022 Men’s T20 World Cup campaign in Australia, finished the inaugural edition of the tournament as the highest run scorer with 469 runs across 12 innings at an average of 46.9 and now returns to the side for the 2024 edition.

Also making a comeback is West Indies left-hand batting all-rounder Sherfane Rutherford, who finished with the tournament’s second-highest strike rate of 184, and featured in the top-five list of batters with the highest number of sixes during the tournament. Rutherford was a hero for the team, and showed incredible commitment and resilience, batting through a painful hamstring injury to help build a crucial victory, taking the Desert Vipers to the final.

Leading the bowling attack for the Vipers once again will be Hasaranga and West Indies’ quick Sheldon Cottrell. Both finished amongst the top-five wicket-takers in the 2023 ILT20 tournament, alongside England all-rounder Tom Curran, who has also been retained by the Vipers.

UAE’s Rohan Mustafa who played the role of opener effectively for the Vipers, has been retained, along with Ali Naseer, who since his first appearance for the Desert Vipers made his UAE ODI debut in a series against the West Indies in June this year.

While the UAE lost the series, Naseer finished as the third highest-run scorer across teams, with 128 runs scored at an average of 42.66, The bowling all-rounder then went on to impress with the ball in the Men’s ODI World Cup Qualifier 2023 which concluded in Zimbabwe, over the weekend, finishing with eight wickets across six matches played.

“It is great that we have managed to secure the experience of Rohan Mustafa our leading UAE all-rounder and also a very exciting emerging all-rounder in Ali-Naseer in our squad with our retentions for 2024,” added Moody.

Players who have been released from the Desert Vipers squad are Sam Billings, Tymal Mills, Benny Howell, Ruben Trumpelmann, Ben Duckett, Adam Lyth, Mark Watt, Saqib Mahmood, Jake Lintott, Ronak Panoly, Sheraz Ahmed, and Dhruv Parashar.

“It is always difficult during retention time because ideally, you would like to keep all our players from the previous year, but we thought it was important to make sure we had flexibility post the retention deadline for new signings, to continue to grow the squad and develop the squad for bigger and better things moving forward,” concluded Moody.

Desert Vipers Retained Players: Colin Munro (NZ), Wanindu Hasaranga (SL), Alex Hales (ENG), Tom Curran (ENG), Sherfane Rutherford (WI), Luke Wood (ENG), Matheesha Pathirana (SL), Sheldon Cottrell (WI), Dinesh Chandimal (SL), Gus Atkinson (ENG), Rohan Mustafa (UAE) and Ali Naseer (UAE)

–Ajit Weekly News

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News Credits – I A N S

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