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Amir and Narine are blessed to play cricket during COVID times

2020 was a tough year for the whole world. COVID-19 pandemic stopped everything and even cricket was affected as literally no tournament was played for close to four months. International cricket returned in July but it took some time for the organizers to stage the T20 Leagues as players from different countries come together to feature in franchise cricket. However, slowly amid all the quarantine measures and RT PCR tests every now and then, all have got used to it and the sport has successfully returned. The new normal is completely different and the fourth edition of the T10 League is also being played in similar circumstances. The Deccan Gladiators all-rounder Sunil Narine, while speaking about the same, admitted that it is tough to spend time in isolation and then come out and play cricket. But he feels they are getting used to this as professionals. “It's hard, but it's something that you generally have to get accustomed to. You have to set your mind that you're going to have to quarantine, it's going to be tougher than normal and you're going to have to come to tournaments a week earlier, sometimes two weeks earlier,” he said during an online Zoom interview to ESPNCricinfo. Another top player Mohammad Amir who retired from international cricket only recently is gracing the field for Pune Devils in the ongoing T10 League. He feels blessed to be playing in COVID times and not sitting on Sofa watching TV. However, even he admits that it gets sometimes frustrating to get into quarantine and testing stuff before and during every tournament. “After Covid [happened], if you're getting any opportunity to play cricket, it's a blessing from God. Everybody is struggling in the world with Covid and I think we are blessed to be playing cricket, rather than sitting on the sofa and watching TV. It's sometimes strange and you get frustrated but it will only help because you have to manage [the situation].

T10 Star Abdul Shakoor hoping for a UAE comeback

The opening day of the fourth edition of the T10 League was a memorable one for UAE batsman Abdul Shakoor. Playing for the Maratha Arabians, he smacked 73 runs off just 28 balls smashing seven fours and five sixes. It was due to his knock that the Arabians managed to chase down 128 runs in 10 overs. The 32-year-old Shakoor was delighted after his blitzkrieg and now feels that this could change the priorities for the T10 franchises. He hopes for a change in their approach and expects that his knock will give more chances to UAE players. “It’s a very big achievement for me and the UAE cricket because there are some other players who can also do well in the upcoming matches. The franchises are now going to look for more UAE players. They should give them the chance, so they can prove themselves, Shakoor was quoted as saying by Khaleej Times. Abdul Shakoor has played for the UAE before at the international level and has donned his country’s jersey in 3 ODIs and 6 T20Is. After his latest knock in the T10 League, he is now hoping to make a comeback in the UAE side at the highest level again. “I can’t really tell you in words how happy I was after scoring the half-century because it’s a big achievement for me and for my family and my team. Now I hope to do better when I get a chance to play for the UAE again,” he further added. Having said that Shakoor will have to be consistent in the rest of the matches as well if he wants to make an international comeback and even lead the Arabians to the title.