Titans announce strong squad for Abu Dhabi T20

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Mark Boucher has announced his 14-man squad for the upcoming Abu Dhabi T20 tournament and he says the excitement within the camp is very evident.

The international T20 tournament gets underway in less than two weeks and will see six domestic franchises from around the world competing for the converted title of a United Arab Emirates T20 championship.

The inaugural event, which will be played over three days at the Zayed Cricket Stadium, is a chance for the three-time T20 champions to flex their muscles against some of the best franchises from around the world, and the Multiply Titans coach has named a suitably strong team.

“There’s a lot of excitement with a number of the guys going to Abu Dhabi for the first time and playing in an international tournament, so the excitement levels are there.

“We’ve got a couple of white-ball specialists, including our captain Albie Morkel, who has been preparing specifically for this tournament,” said Boucher.

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Along with veterans like Morkel, Farhaan Behardien and the fit-again Chris Morris, Boucher has also called on some faces for the future, with the likes of Tony de Zorzi, Rivaldo Moonsamy and new arrival Tshepo Moreki.

“The key is to give the youngsters the opportunity – but you don’t give youngsters opportunities with other youngsters. You give them a lot of seniority and guidance as well.

“To have guys like Chris, Farhaan, and Albie, who have played international competitions around the world and have been successful as well in the teams they’ve been involved in, is a huge for the side,” Boucher noted.

“To have a couple of the youngsters on tour for the first time abroad and to have these seniors in the team will put them in good stead for the future. They’ll learn a lot about themselves as cricketers and as individuals in a team environment.

“Hopefully they come back looking at the game of cricket in a different way and hopefully they can take it from strength to strength as the season progresses.”

And while the T20 tournament is sandwiched between two four-day games, the trip to the Middle-East will also see the Titans face some new conditions, which will also be part of their cricketing education.

“No one really know how conditions are going to play in Abu Dhabi. I’ve been there twice, and the first time we played against Pakistan they left a lot of grass on the wicket and it was very good for the seamers,” the Proteas legend recalled.

“The next time we went, the spinners came through. We’ll have to wait until we get there to access conditions. But one thing’s for certain, it can only improve their game, playing those conditions.”

Despite it being a new tournament, in foreign land, Boucher maintained that his team is going out there to do one thing.

“We want to win. That’s our culture. We’ve got a winning formula at the Titans, and we believe we’ve got a squad that can win it as well,” Boucher concluded.

Titans Abu Dhabi T20 squad (from): Albie Morkel (c), Andrea Agathagelou, Farhaan Behardien, Henry Davids, Theunis de Bruyn, Dean Elgar, Tony de Zorzi, Eldred Hawken, Gregory Mahlokwana, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Tshepo Moreki, Chris Morris, Alfred Mothoa and  Shaun von Berg.