ILT20: Gulf Giants batter Tom Banton can’t wait to play with Shimron Hetmyer and Chris Lynn

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The dynamic wicket-keeper batter, who burst onto the England domestic scene in 2017, can’t wait to join his teammates ahead of the tournament.

With the ILT20 seeing some big names in the mix, Banton is raring to go and hopes to make more than a splash in the tournament.

“It’s really exciting. It’s been talked about now for the last few years and I am happy to be a part of this mega league, which is going to get very competitive with every player giving his best. Our first game is on the 15th and I am set to go,” Banton said.

The swashbuckling batter has plenty of experience under his belt in franchise cricket, having plied his trade in England, Abu Dhabi and Pakistan, and will hope to replicate his har-hitting prowess as he takes on the centre stage for Gulf Giants.

Gulf Giants squad also has in the ranks some of the most exciting T20 talents such as Australia’s Chris Lynn, West Indies’ Shimron Hetmyer, England’s James Vince and Chris Jordan. The likes of David Wiese, Dominic Drakes also feature in the squad, with the Zimbabwean legend Andy Flower as the coach.

Talking about his colleagues, Banton said, “Andy is one of the best coaches in the world. I worked him during T10 and he has so much to offer to Adani’s Gulf Giants. I have learnt a lot from him. He simplifies everything for you. I feel so privileged to be part of the Giants, where you have so many experienced players.”

The player is excited to play alongside Shimron Hetmyer and hopes that his familiarity with most of the squad members will play a big part in building the bonding of the squad.

Shimron Hetmyer

Shimron Hetmyer is also a part of the Gulf Giants Squad

The 24-year-old, whose brother and father have also played a bit of professional cricket, has scored two centuries and 14 fifties in just over a hundred T20 games.

Reflecting on his previous outings in the UAE, the English batter said, “I have spent a lot of time here so I am well aware of the conditions and the weather. The wickets are bit different as compared to what we have back in England. I will definitely pass on my knowledge of playing here to the youngsters in the team and hopefully that will help them and all of us to put on a good show in the Gulf Giants’ jersey.”

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Banton also touched upon the camaraderie he shares with the explosive Chris Lynn. The duo were part of the Brisbane Heat team, where they took opposition bowlers to task.

“Chris is one of the best players in this format of the game and to open with him would be an honour. I am excited about the partnership and hope we can get our team to a flying start every time we are at the crease,” Banton concluded.

The English batter will also see this tournament as an opportunity to get his route back to the England national team. He has played 14 T20I games for England, scoring 327 runs with a strike rate of 148. He last played for England in January last year and will be hoping to make a return to the national team.

(with inputs from agency)

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