Dawid Malan, member of the England World T20 winning squad, weighs the excitement of teaming up with Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes again for Sharjah Warriors’ inaugural ILT20 campaign
Sharjah, December 17: England batsman Dawid Malan is gearing up for the inaugural ILT20 tournament with Sharjah Warriors, the only one among six teams to represent the emirate.
The ILT20 will be held from January 13 to February 12, 2023. England all-rounder Moeen Ali will captain the Sharjah Warriors side that will be mentored by compatriot and former national team assistant coach Paul Farbrace.
Malan agreed to an interview, fresh after being part of the ICC World T20 winning team in Australia. The left-hander missed out on the last stages of the tournament with a groin injury. Though he returned to fitness in time for the final, he did not feature in the playing XI. Here are the excerpts from the batsman who is currently ranked sixth in the ICC T20 rankings:
How excited are you playing for Sharjah Warriors at one of the most iconic venues as your home ground?
It is awesome to be part of a team which associates with one of world cricket’s historic places and a fantastic cricketing venue. Like everybody, I am looking forward to the start of the ILT20 and playing at the world-class facilities here.
How do you see playing under a familiar captain like Moeen Ali and England teammates and how do you rate your chances of winning the ILT20?
It is brilliant to be playing with Moeen, and that him and Farbs (coach Paul Farbrace) will be running the show. I am sure they will get the best of us. It is always fun to play with fellow players you know. It puts you at ease quite easily and it just allows you to express yourself and play with freedom which is how you want it to be with the franchise.
Evin is one of the best players in the world. I thoroughly enjoy watching him play and I am looking forward to pick his brains and learn from him and the way he goes about with his stuff. With Tom, I have played with him at Yorkshire for three years now. He is a fantastic talent and it is great to hook up back with him.
The year 2022 has been good for you in the T20 format. Is it coming of age or is there any secret formula?
I would say the year of 2022 has been okay. I guess the older you get, the more rub and experience helps you grow. I have learnt to accept more failures and it helps you to become a better player. Hopefully all that it counts if I can contribute for Sharjah Warriors, and we get to lift the trophy at the end.
You have played a bit in the UAE, including two T20 internationals each in Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, at the delayed 2020 ICC T20 World Cup last year. What is your reading of the venues based on that experience?
I have also been fortunate to play in the Pakistan Super League, some matches for the Lions (England and Wales’ second-tier team) and couple of MCC tour games. So I have played quite a few games in the UAE and the conditions here. The pitches here are really good to bat on. When the ILT20 starts they will be nice and hard to bat on, but later as the tournament goes on they can obviously become slower and low. And that is the challenge of franchise tournaments, to adapt to it quickly on what you have to do on each day.
UAE is going to house numerous superstars as the ILT20 is about to start. Your thoughts on the league?
Indeed, everyone in the fraternity is looking forward to the UAE’s own league. In the past, the UAE has been a neutral ground for many a bilateral series and ICC tournaments. The facilities are top class. It was about time that this place gets a league of its own. We have been coming here in the past. Even the IPL has been held here now a couple of times. So getting all the big names here can only be good for cricket and hopefully we can bring cheer to the supporters, we are only happy to be a part of it.
About Sharjah Warriors
Sharjah Warriors is owned by Capri Global, India’s leading Non-Banking Financial Company with a deep interest in franchise sports. This is their first foray in international cricket having previously invested in top teams like Bengal Warriors in Pro Kabaddi League and Rajasthan Warriors in Ultimate Kho Kho.
Squad: Moeen Ali (Captain), Dawid Malan, Evin Lewis, Mohammad Nabi, Chris Woakes, Noor Ahmad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Naveen Ul-haq, Tom Cadmore, Chris Benjamin, Joe Denly, Karthik Meiyappan, M Javed Siddique, Alishan Sharafu, M Jawad Ullah, Mark Deyal, JJ Smit, Bilal Khan
Picture from Getty Images