India great Anil Kumble believes that the addition of a host of top-class international stars can help develop cricket across Ireland, the Netherlands and Scotland as preparations for the Euro T20 Slam gather momentum, which will take place from 30th August until 22nd September.
A respected chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket Committee, Kumble has been joined by fellow former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar, Pakistan’s legendary all-rounder Wasim Akram and Australian great Dean Jones as advisers for the inaugural ICC-approved tournament.
Commenting on the importance of the Euro T20 Slam, Anil Kumble said: “I think it’s wonderful to be associated with the Euro T20 Slam. For one, the growth of cricket in this region is something that I’m really looking forward to overseeing.
“The captain of England (Eoin Morgan) who lifted the (ICC Cricket) World Cup is from Ireland and that will certainly impact the way the Irish will look at playing the sport. We know that Ireland now has Test status; Scotland has beaten England recently in an ODI (One-Day International) and the Netherlands have done that as well at a world event.
“So, it’s nice for me to be a part of the advisory group and try to contribute for the good of cricket.”
In any league, and in any sport, you need icon players to be a part of it
Hailing the impact of a list of international stars which was recently supplemented by Proteas captain Faf du Plessis, who will be joining Belfast Titans franchise, Kumble added that he hopes to see the game of cricket grow across all three host countries.
“In any league, and in any sport, you need icon players to be a part of it; and I’m really glad that some world-class T20 players are taking part in the Euro T20 Slam.
“For the icon players, it will be an opportunity to play in these countries where they probably haven't played before; and for the local talent, it will be wonderful to rub shoulders with world-class players, exchange ideas and learn from them.
“It’s one thing to have a coach come and tell you, but when you're in a situation where you have the likes of a Brendon McCullum or Shane Watson helping you get through a phase in a T20 game; I think that’s marvellous.”
On the emergence of exciting local players, Kumble (who featured in 132 Test matches, 271 ODI’s and claimed 956 wickets for India) stated his hopes that the Euro T20 Slam can inspire a new generation.
He added: “You want the sustained growth of local talent coming through from grassroots level up and I’m hopeful that this league will provide an opportunity for more players to showcase their talent and get noticed.”
Tickets for the Euro T20 Slam will go on sale online in early August.