On January 28, the Northern Warriors will step on the field with an aim to become the first team to win two T10 titles. And with the number of match-winners loaded in their squad, the former champions have every right to believe in this mission.
Here, we glance through the most crucial players of the Northern Warriors that can take them all the way through in the latest edition of The Abu Dhabi T10.
Dependable hero: Nicholas Pooran
Northern Warriors’ icon player and captain Nicholas Pooran will have the onus of leading the team to their second T10 title, after winning it in the second edition. He was a part of the title-winning squad.
Although just 25 years old, the wicketkeeper-batsman has played short-format franchise cricket around the globe, with gigs in the Big Bash League, Bangladesh Premier League, Indian Premier League, Pakistan Super League and Global T20 Canada, to name a few.
Nicholas Pooran’s contribution to every team he has been a part of has been commendable, including the Northern Warriors’ summit-reaching campaign of 2018, where he finished as the highest run-scorer of the season with 324 runs. The Trinidadian also holds the record for the most number of sixes in the tournament (33).
He has warmed himself up for the 2020 ADT10 by playing for Melbourne Stars in the ongoing Big Bash League. Come January 28, the star will be ready to lead the Northern Warriors against Maratha Arabians in the season opener.
Player in-form: Rovman Powell
West Indian middle-order batsman Rovman Powell, who is also a handy bowler, looked in decent touch in the ongoing tour of the West Indies in Bangladesh. The batsman scored a gritty 41 in the ODI against Bangladesh in his last match, before getting 28 in the first. The scores might not be the greatest but the occasion they came on is. West Indies had their back against the wall in this series after several senior players withdrew from the tour. These gritty knocks from Rovman Powell gave the fairly inexperienced Caribbean squad something to fight for. In fact, he was the only player from the visitors’ side that made more than 20 runs in both the matches.
The Jamaican has been a force in the shorter formats too and has captained the Jamaica Tallawahs in the 2020 Caribbean Premier League.
In the T10 tournament, Rovman Powell powered the Northern Warriors to their first title in 2018 by slamming an unbeaten 25-ball 61 in the finals. His brilliant effort won him the Man of the Match award.
T10 veteran: Rayad Emrit
Rayad Emrit is one of the few players in The Abu Dhabi T10 that has been a part of all three previous editions of the tournament. In the inaugural edition, the West Indian lifted the title with Kerala Knights, claiming five wickets in five matches. He was then picked up by the Bangla Tigers but made only one appearance.
However, in the last edition, Northern Warriors showed their trust in the experienced cricketer and he repaid the faith by finishing as their second-highest wicket-taker.
With plenty of T10 experience under his belt, the 39-year-old Rayad Emrit will be the go-to man for captain Nicholas Pooran.
Rising star: Maheesh Theeksanha
Sri Lanka’s newest mystery spinner Maheesh Theeksanha is set to make his debut appearance at the upcoming 2020 ADT10. At a young age of 20, the Lankan has already played First-Class, List A and T20 for the Colts Cricket Club. He is regarded as one of the most exciting new talents of Sri Lanka, so much that people have compared him to Lankan great Ajantha Mendis. They have their reasons, though. Both bowlers started young, startled batsmen with their unorthodox methods and are experts in the carrom ball technique.
Maheesh Theeksanha’s startling economy of 5.66 in T20s will come handy when the Northern Warriors want to stop the flow of runs. The Abu Dhabi T10 will also be a proving ground for the youngsters to make a push for national selection.