Sharjah Warriors continued to show their unique acumen in gathering top talent for the upcoming International League Twenty20 (ILT20) tournament in the UAE with the signing of Australian white-ball specialist Marcus Stoinis. The addition makes the man from Perth the league’s first Aussie player and boosts the international appeal of the six-team league all set to be held from January 13 to February 12 with 24 UAE cricketers in the fray.
“It’s a massive opportunity for me personally to notch up some crucial playtime at a tournament like this in the UAE ahead of a busy year that’s going to be full of cricket. I just can’t wait to team up with some of the world’s best all-rounders in the Sharjah Warriors squad,” said Stoinis, who is currently plying his trade in the Big Bash League.
The powerful hitter and medium-pace bowler joins an impressive list of all-rounders in the Sharjah squad, sliding in with the team leader and England vice-captain Moeen Ali and his teammate Chros Woakes, former Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi and Namibian JJ Smit. With Stoinis in, Sharjah Warriors now have as many as four top tenners according to the latest ICC world rankings for all-rounders in T20 internationals – Nabi (No 2), Smit (No 5), Stoinis (No 9) and Moeen (No 10).
Even as the ILT20 organisers were formalising his appointment for Sharjah Warriors, the middle-order batsman rang in 2023 in style on New Year's eve, making 74 runs off 35 balls to ensure victory for Melbourne Stars against Adelaide Strikers in the tournament currently on until February 4.
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Stoinis, a white-ball expert with 57 One Day Internationals and 51 T20is under his belt, is also a much sought-after player in the Indian Premier League. The 33-year-old has been part of the dressing rooms in Delhi twice (Daredevils and Capitals), Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Lucknow Super Giants and is no stranger to performing in top level franchise cricket.
“These are extremely exciting times for international franchise cricket and I am glad to be playing a part of a team like Sharjah Warriors in the league’s history-making inaugural edition,” said Stoinis. The Australian can dig deep in the batting order, having set the record for the highest seventh wicket partnership in the T20 format, along with Daniel Sams.
The duo made 92 against a quality opposition like New Zealand in Dunedin in February of 2021 in a match which New Zealand won by just 4 runs.
In a busy cricket calendar, the leagues of South Africa, Australia and the UAE are overlapping. New Zealand are touring India and England will begin their trip to South Africa on January 27. Sharjah Warriors have thus ensured Stoinis’ involvement to sustain the strength of their squad towards the business end of the league.
About Sharjah Warriors
Sharjah Warriors is owned by Capri Global, India’s leading Non-Banking Financial Company with a deep interest in franchise sports. This is their first foray in international cricket having previously invested in top teams like Bengal Warriors in Pro Kabaddi League and Rajasthan Warriors in Ultimate Kho Kho.
Squad: Moeen Ali (Captain), Dawid Malan, Evin Lewis, Mohammad Nabi, Chris Woakes, Marcus Stoinis, Noor Ahmad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Naveen Ul-haq, Tom Cadmore, Chris Benjamin, Joe Denly, Karthik Meiyappan, M Javed Siddique, Alishan Sharafu, M Jawad Ullah, Mark Deyal, JJ Smit, Bilal Khan