Indian legend Ganguly to miss MCL opener in Dubai
Former Indian captain Saurav Ganguly will miss the opening match of the inaugural Masters Champions League on Thursday after suffering a back spasm.
Ganguly's Libra Legends will face Gemini Arabians in the first match of the MCL at Dubai International Stadium commencing at 7.30pm.
The onus falls on South African great Jacques Kallis when Libra Legends take on Gemini Arabians led by former Indian opener Virender Sehwag.
The Gemini Arabians also features Kumar Sanagakkara, Saqlain Mushtaq and Muttiah Muralitharan, among others.
Dubai and Sharjah are bracing for the return of retired greats of the game during the January 28 to February 13 tournament.
MCL has received a 10-year approval from the Emirates Cricket Board and has also been recognised by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The teams who will vie for the title include the Sagittarius Strikers - owned by Danube Group - Libra Legends, Capricorn Commanders, Gemini Arabians, Virgo Super Kings and the Leo Lions.
Among the stars who are playing the tournament are former Indian captain Saurav Ganguly, Brad Hogg, Jacques Kallis, Virender Sehwag, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara, Saqlain Mushtaq, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Saqib Ali, Graeme Smith, Brett Lee, Jonty Rhodes, Neil McKenzie, Murali Kartik, Malinga Bandara, Brian Lara, Heath Streak and Herschelle Gibbs.
Capricorn Commanders are led by former England international Paul Collingwood and other players include Michael Vaughan, Abdul Razzaq, Andrew Symonds and Chamara Silva.
Adam Gilchrist is the captain of Sagittarius Strikers.
Strikers vice-captain Daniel Vettori said at a press conference that the veterans were “super excited” by the tournament and were looking forward to “playing once again to promote the true spirit of the game”.
Sagittarius Strikers owner Anis Sajan said that since Danube were always a big time cricket followers, they now have their own team.
“We have got a great bunch of proven match winners and this perfect combination which puts cricket fans all over the world behind us with all their love and support.
“We look forward to a great inaugural season of the MCL,” he said.
Bret Lee, who is extremely popular with Indians, harbours similar sentiments.
“Its good to play with old buddies and am sure Dubai is going to love every bit of this,” the former Australian fast bowler said.
Oxigen Masters Champions League unveiled an impressive set of commentators for the inaugural edition of the tournament on Wednesday.
The world class broadcast will be called by an exciting panel of commentators that includes former New Zealand fast bowler Danny Morrison, ex-England player Mark Butcher, former Pakistan captain Aamir Sohail, ex-England women's international Isa Guha and noted T20 broadcaster from Australia, Mark Howard.
The inaugural edition will be broadcast across key territories via Sony Pictures Network (India, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan & Maldives), PTV and Geo Super in Pakistan, SuperSport (Africa and sub-Saharan Africa), Ten (Middle East) and SportsMax (Caribbean).
The official hashtag for the event is #MCL2020, #MastersAreBack.
The event will also be extensively covered on Oxigen MCL’s digital platforms, while the official website www.mcl2020.com will provide live scoring and other key features via the technology partner CricHQ.
Oxigen MCL CEO Zarah Shah said: “A fantastic panel of commentators calling games involving some of the world's Xtraordinary cricketers is a brilliant addition to the Oxigen MCL. With our key broadcasters carrying the feed in cricket's key territories, we will have a very wide audience watching all the 18 games of the tournament.”
January 28: 7.30pm, Dubai - Libra Legends v Gemini Arabians
January 29: 3pm, Dubai - Capricorn Commanders v Leo Lions; 7.30pm - Virgo Super Kings v Sagittarius Strikers
January 30: 3pm, Dubai - Arabians v Lions; 7.30pm - Strikers v Commanders
February 3: 3pm, Sharjah - Legends v Super Kings; 7.30pm - Arabians v Commanders
February 4: 3pm, Sharjah - Legends v Strikers; Lions v Super Kings
February 5: 3pm, Sharjah - Strikers v Arabians; 7.30pm - Legends v Commanders
February 6: 3pm, Sharjah - Arabians v Super Kings; 7.30pm - Lions v Strikers
February 7: 3pm, Sharjah - Super Kings v Commanders; 7.30pm - Legends v Lions
February 11: Semi-final 1, 7.30pm, Dubai
February 12: Semi-final 2, 7.30pm, Dubai
February 13: Final - 7.30pm, Dubai.
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