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CLT20 Staff in Johannesburg

‘IPL, CLT20 make cricket more competitive’

Captain Kandamby and coach Nosworthy keen on team getting exposure

Uva Next went into the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) as dark horses. In the end, they not only emerged victorious but gave themselves a chance to play in a high profile tournament like CLT20. And as they gear up for the Qualifiers, their coach Dave Nosworthy made the team’s intentions absolutely clear. “We’re not here to just participate but compete and win.”

The coach’s confidence stemmed from the fact that Uva Next have some reputed international cricketers, including Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Jacob Oram.

“Our international cricketers will play key role for us,” he said. A guy like Umar Gul will be a key player in South African conditions from the bowling point of view. Jacob Oram is a good all-rounder to have in this competition. These are some names but there are a few more players to watch out for.” Touching on the team’s domestic strength, Nosworthy said, “We’ve got quality domestic cricketers and our captain leads the way. He has played international cricket and has set good standards.”

As captain Thilina Kandamby pointed out, “Uva Next is the first Sri Lankan team to play in the CLT20 with foreign players.” Wayamba fielded an all-Lankan team in 2009.

Nosworthy explained how the presence of these international players helps in the growth of domestic cricketers. “Having overseas players in the side quickens the development of the local players. Talking to some of the local players in the team, they really enjoyed working with the likes of Andrew McDonald and Oram. It can only be good for their own game and for Sri Lankan cricket on the whole,” he said.

Nosworthy also spoke of how the overseas players have blended nicely into the team and credited the IPL and CLT20 for elevating the standard of competition in world cricket.

“Sometimes, the international players get a bit arrogant and ego-driven. But the guys that we’ve got are so integrated already. Everyone is learning from each other. I’m sure that even the internationals are learning a lot about the Sri Lankan way. It works both ways and that’s what makes this format of cricket so exciting. Because of tournaments like the IPL and CLT20 the game is moving further and getting tougher.”

Nosworthy had special praise for Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who, although is not a quintessential T20 batsman, adds immense value to the team’s top order.

“We haven’t decided on the line-up yet but opening with Chanderpaul is definitely a good option for us. He might not be a left-handed Chris Gayle but Shiv is really experienced and works the ball really well. I think he will use the pace of the South African wickets very nicely. He’s a senior campaigner and we’re relying a lot on him. He’s excited to be here and is expecting big things.”

The Uva Next coach also stressed on the importance of having experienced players for the T20 format in order to bring a calming effect on the team.

“I think experience is always underrated in T20s. Calmness and level-headedness under pressure is very important in this format where emotions can run high. For a young guy, just to have somebody on the field to pat him on the back or whisper a word is important. The captain too is supported by such players. He has so much going on in his head and to have someone chip in with an advice here and there helps. Shiv is brilliant in that way. So, experience is vital,” he said.

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