Dubai [UAE], November 30 (ANI): The Desert Vipers fixtures for the inaugural ILT20 in the United Arab Emirates have been released and as far as Director of Cricket Tom Moody is concerned, the news could not be better, or more exciting.
The Desert Vipers are the last of the six sides in the tournament to get underway, with a match at their home venue, the Dubai International Stadium (DIS), against the Sharjah Warriors on January 15, two days after the opening game.
They will also be the first to complete its matches in the group stage, wrapping up the round-robin phase with an encounter against the Gulf Giants, again at the DIS, on Saturday, February 4 as read in a statement by Desert Vipers.
Reflecting on the fixture announcement, Tom Moody said, "A major positive of our start on the third day of the tournament is that we will get to see a match at our opening venue, Dubai Sports City, and we will get to see our first opponents, the Sharjah Warriors, in action before we meet them, so we will be able to gather some valuable information on the venue and the opposition. Our later start in comparison to the other sides translates to 10 matches in 24 days, but what that means is if we can get into a good rhythm, then we can build some decent momentum through that first phase."
"Our entire focus will be on a match at a time, but if we can make it through to the playoffs then we will get four, or possibly five days break between our final group game and the final stages, a great opportunity to freshen up and work out plans for that last, big push. We've spent a long period planning and strategising for the Desert Vipers' launch in the ILT20 and seeing these fixtures is another landmark on the road to the start of the tournament. There's still plenty of work to do, but now we know when and where we will be making our tournament bow and that is what we are all looking forward to and working towards," said the former Aussie player.
The Desert Vipers will play six matches at the DIS, as well as two each at the other two venues for the tournament, Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi and the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
The play-off matches then follow with three matches on 8, 9 and 10 February before the Final on Sunday 12 February at Dubai International Stadium.
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 starstudded Desert Vipers camp.
It features 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). (ANI)