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Mr Cricket ready to don mentor’s hat for Indian indoor cricket team
August 30, 2017
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DUBAI: Anis Sajan, known as Mr Cricket of UAE following his penchant for the game, is ready to don the hat of mentor of Indian Indoor team, which will participate in the 10th edition of the World Indoor Cricket Federation (WICF) World Cup.

The event is scheduled to be held from Sept.16-23 at Dubai’s Insportz Club. He joins Indian Test star Sandeep Patil, who has already been named as the Brand Ambassador of the Indian Team.

Till now Anis has shaped one of the strongest indoor cricket teams in the UAE called Danube Tigers and Danube Lions.

Both the teams owned by him have dominated indoor tournaments across the UAE for years.

The current edition of the Indoor Cricket World Cup will attract approximately 400 players and officials from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and the hosts UAE, apart from India.

Australia are the reigning indoor World Cup champions. This week-long tournament will be held in partnership with Cricket Australia (CA) and Emirates Cricket Board (ECB).

Recently, Anis has joined hands with Neelesh Bhatnagar, MD of NB Ventures and along with his elder brother Rizwan Sajan, Chairman of Danube, have invested in a team called Gujarat Tigers.

This team will compete in the inaugural Ten Cricket League  (TCL) slated to be held in Sharjah later this year.

The 10-over competition will run from Dec.21-24 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium and will see the likes of Virender Sehwag, Kumar Sangakkara, Chris Gayle and Shahid Afridi in action.

“We thought a name like Gujarat Tigers would be good because the Indian Prime Minister hails from Gujarat and that’s why we preferred to choose the state as a fitting tribute to what he is doing for the country,” said Anis.

“I’m really happy to be a co-owner of the team because this is a new format. When T20 was first launched, people were not sure how successful it would become and look at it now.”

Bhatnagar said the opportunity to co-own a sports team was one he could not turn down.

“I co-own the UAE Royals in the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) and this will be the second team I’ll be co-owning and am really excited with this new venture,” he said.

Both Anis and Neelesh are keen to get Gayle on board to play for them.

“If this tournament is pulled off well and there are crowds and the right kind of players playing, this is going to be a tournament like the big football leagues all over the world,” said Anis.

Pinning hopes on his Indian team to perform well, Anis said that as the mentor of the team, he looks forward to giving back to the society with his enthusiasm for cricket.

“I have always believed that if you have passion when combined with knowledge and fueled by resources, you can become a force to reckon with. That is exactly what I will be sharing with the Indian squad,” he added.

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