Northern Warriors coach Robin Singh says T10 could make it to Olympics

Source | khaleejtimes Dec 08, 2018

The 12-day tournament saw big names like Shahid Afridi, Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Shane Watson and Morne Morkel battle it out for glory

After winning his second straight T10 title as coach, former India all-rounder Robin Singh says the shortest format of the game is set to become even more popular in the coming years.

Singh, who led Kerala Kings to victory in the inaugural edition of the T10 League, pulled the strings this year for debutants Northern Warriors.

The Darren Sammy-led Warriors won the second season with a comprehensive win over Pakhtoons in the final at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on UAE National Day.

The 12-day tournament saw big names like Shahid Afridi, Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Shane Watson and Morne Morkel battle it out for glory.

The most impressive thing about this year’s tournament was the presence of current international stars – Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales and Jason Roy.

These players, according to Singh, have added more power to a format which might get into Olympics one day.

“Yes, they have all played in the tournament. I think it’s a big achievement. I think this tournament will get bigger because it’s the right format for the Olympics. The duration suits an Olympic event. So, you will find it becoming very popular in the next two or three years,” Singh told Khaleej Times.

“It’s a short format. It doesn’t take too much to put it together. I think the players enjoyed the format. It’s not over-exhausting. But it’s a real test of your skills. If you are not skilled enough, you can get exposed here.”

While several of his Northern Warriors players impressed in the second season, none shone brighter than the 23-year-old West Indian Nicholas Pooran (324 runs in nine matches, average 54, strike rate 245.45, sixes 33), the highest scorer of the tournament.

And Singh believes Pooran’s performance in the T10 League might earn him a ticket to the Indian Premier League.

“I think he’s got a very bright future. It’s a question of being consistent now,” Singh said.

“I think now he has got a good platform. He probably had his best tournament. Hopefully, somebody will pick him in the IPL.”

Singh says picking the right players was one of the key reasons behind his own success as a coach in the first two seasons of the T10 League.

“The key is to get the right players. And if those players are in form on the international circuit, it’s good because it’s all about confidence and skills in this format,” he said.

The Northern Warriors made a record-breaking 183 in 10 overs against Punjabi Legends in one of the league games.

And Singh believes the T10 tournament will continue to see big scores in future as well.

“If you remember, last year everyone thought 120 would be a good score. But actually, it’s just an average score,” he said.

“So, you know, teams can score big on a good wicket when two guys are batting really well.

“Definitely, the wickets are good. You will find a lot of big scores probably in future.”