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Hasaranga joins the Desert Vipers in ILT

DUBAI: The Desert Vipers spin department has received a huge boost with the arrival of the world’s leading men’s Twenty20 International bowler Wanindu Hasaranga.

The Sri Lankan leg-spinning all-rounder arrived in Dubai on Monday and, after a day of rest, attended the team’s training session at ICC Academy on Tuesday. Hasaranga began with a bowl in the centre, with Sam Billings facing him. That was followed by a stint with the bat and some sprinting to complete his workout.

The Desert Vipers take on the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders on Wednesday January 18 at the Dubai International stadium, having won their opening tie against the Sharjah Warriors on Sunday. The match begins at 6 pm GST and tickets can be purchased using this link: https://dubai.platinumlist.net/DesertVipers

Here are some excerpts from the interview with Wanindu Hasaranga.

Question:  Wanindu you are getting ready for your first match for the Desert Vipers, so how does it feel to be here finally?

Wanindu Hasaranga: “I missed the first game, but the boys played really well. I am really excited to play with the team in the next match.”

Question:  Wanindu, you have had a lot of  experience playing here in the UAE, you know these conditions well?

Wanindu Hasaranga: “Yes. I was the highest wicket-taker in the 2021 T20 World Cup here, and I also did well in the Asia Cup (last year) so I know how to bowl and bat in these conditions and that will help me to do my best for the team.”

Question:  You are the number one bowler in T20Is for men. Does that put more pressure on you, to perform well, or do you enjoy having that mantle?

Wanindu Hasaranga: “I love playing cricket in every situation, and especially as the number one T20I bowler. I love to play and perform under pressure, and when I play every game, I try to do my best for the team.”

Question:  Are you ready to go?

Wanindu Hasaranga: “Yes.”

About the Desert Vipers

Owned by Lancer Capital, The Desert Vipers team is one of six to compete at the inaugural ICC-sanctioned ILT20 tournament to be held in the UAE in January-February 2023.

Cricket Director Tom Moody and Head Coach James Foster lead operations in the star-studded Desert Vipers camp, which includes players like Sam Billings, Wanindu Hasaranga, Alex Hales, Colin Munro, Tom Curran, and Sheldon Cottrell. Other key staffing appointments include Azhar Mahmood (fast bowling coach), Carl Crowe (spin bowling coach), Simon Helmot (fielding coach), and Neil McKenzie (batting coach).

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