Kolkata: Mohammed Azharuddin, the iconic Indian captain who set to become the team mentor of Northern Warriors in the second season of Abu Dhabi T10, feels the jury is still out about the new experimental format unless it is 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,” said the owner of over 15,000 runs in international cricket. The ensuing edition of the competition will be played at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi from January 28 – February 6.
One of the most successful Indian captains ever, Azhar, now the President of Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) confided to Gulf News in an interview last year that he would be keen to take up the coaching assignment of Indian team if ever offered. For now, the man with the magic wrists wants to do a thorough job with the Warriors: “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.”
Even though the Warriors have a number of star players on their roster such as Lendl Simmons and Nicholas Pooran, 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,” he said.
One of Hyderabad’s most famous sons, Azharuddin said that he enjoyed Test cricket and One Day Internationals 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,” he said.
Mohomed Morani, the co-owner of Northern Warriors, felt 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 Mohammed 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.”