The action and razzmatazz of cricket’s shortest version will be on display at the PCA stadium when it hosts the group-stage matches of the Champions League T20 tournament from September 18 to 28.
The greatest attraction for the local fans will obviously be IPL franchise and home side Kings XI Punjab, who will cross swords with three other contenders in a bid to qualify for the knockouts.
While all cricket buffs will be anticipating fireworks from the likes Virender Sehwag, Glenn Maxwell and David Miller, focus will also be on a host of regional players, including local lad Manan Vohra, Mandeep Singh, Rishi Dhawan and Karanveer Singh, who helped KXIP lift runners-up trophy in this year’s IPL.
Also, with KXIP playing all their group stage matches at the PCA stadium, the advantage of having the home support is not lost on skipper George Bailey.
“It is nice to be settled in one place and we get good support from the crowds. That makes a big difference, it gives you a good feeling as a playing group,” said Bailey during a press conference here on Monday.
In response to a query about Sehwag’s role in the team in the upcoming matches, coach Sanjay Bangar said, “He plays cricket the way only he can play. We have given him a lot of freedom even in the past season and this season is going to be no different. Obviously, he gave us good start.”
Adding to it, Bangar said that youngsters could always learn a lot while playing alongside top professionals like Sehwag: “Words of wisdom from these players certainly do help the younger players and benefit from their knowledge.”
KXIP take on Hobart Hurricanes in their opening encounter on September 18, and will then play Barbados Tridents (Sept 20), one of the two teams that comes from the qualifiers (Sept 26), and Cape Cobras in their last match. on September 28.