Forget football, cricket fever is set to take over Europe for three days between 29th July and 31st July. Eight teams from countries like Denmark, Russia, Spain, Romania, Italy, France, Germany and The Netherlands will come together to entertain the fans. For these countries that haven’t witnessed a great deal of cricket, the European Cricket Leauge (ECL) 2019 promises to be a breath of fresh air.
The ECL adopts the T10 format of cricket and overall a total of 17 games will be played. The eight sides are divided into two groups and the top two teams from each group will advance to the knockouts. Also, another major goal of ECL 2019 is to unearth some of the finest talents in European countries. These players get a stage to showcase their skill and promise a lot of exciting stuff.
Read: Everything that you need to know about ECL 2019
Here are three of such players you’ve got to watch out for in the ECL:
1. Pieter Seelaar | V.O.C Rotterdam
Pieter Seelaar. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
Pieter Seelaar is one of the biggest attractions of the European Cricket League (ECL). The Netherlands’ skipper along with two of his other teammates from the national team are the biggest strengths of V.O.C. Rotterdam. Seelaar’s presence and experience make his team arguably one of the hot favourites in the tournament.
Seelaar started his international career at a pretty young age when he made his debut in 2006. He was unfortunate to have missed out the World Cup 2007 but made it count in 2011. In that edition of the tournament, he dismissed the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Kevin Pietersen.
While he isn’t a big turner of the ball, Seelaar is quite economical. He has featured in 41 ODIs and 49 T20Is thus far. The 32-year-old has picked up 50 and 36 wickets in both these formats respectively. With just a 50-meter boundary at the La Manga Club, he will have his task cut out.
2. Yasir Ali | Catalunya Cricket Club
Yasir Ali , Catalunya Cricket Club. (Photo Source: cricclubs)
Yasir Ali is a Spanish cricketer who will be representing the Catalunya Cricket Club in the inaugural edition of the European Cricket League. His stats suggest that he has got a penchant for big-hitting and loves clearing the ropes as often as possible. Apart from his aggressive batting, Ali can be useful with the ball as well.
He bowls gentle off-spin and is a crafty bowler. Thus far, Ali has featured in 2 T20I games for Spain. Both these games were played earlier this year against Malta and the 27-year-old was highly impressive. On his debut, he scored 57 runs and hit 5 fours, 3 sixes.
Although he missed out in the next match as he could only score 1 run, Yasir Ali picked up one wicket in the only over that he bowled. He averages over a 100 and a strike rate of 177 in the domestic games that he plays. He has a huge role to fulfil for the Catalunya Cricket Club.
3. Luqman Ahmed | SG Findorff
Luqman Ahmed, SG Findorff. (Photo Source: ecn.cricket)
Luqman Ahmed is a cricketer who was born and raised in Pakistan. But for the last few years, he has been working in Germany. He is playing cricket in the country since 2012 and will represent SG Findorff in the European Cricket League.
He is a middle-order batsman and likes to play the long innings. In the first game that he played in this cricket season (2019), he scored an unbeaten 177. He is more of an anchor in the side and his role is to rotate the strike and hold one end tight.
Luqman Ahmed idolises Misbah Ul Haq and is looking forward to playing in the tournament. He is also keen on putting the extra efforts on the field and saving a few runs for his team. Moreover, he is quite optimistic about his team lifting the title.
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