Sharjah, Jan 27: UAE pacer Akif Raja lauded skipper David Warner for his support during the ongoing DP World ILT20 season 2. Speaking ahead of their clash against the Gulf Giants at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Akif credited the Australian for all his help during his time with the GMR Sports-owned team till now.
“I'm very grateful to have David Warner as my Captain this season. It's his faith in me that has helped me grow. He has given me a fixed role to work on, and I have focused on that. It's a surreal experience with him as captain,” shared the right-arm medium fast bowler.
Now playing in his second season with the Capitals, Akif has settled into the squad and is confident about the future. “I feel more comfortable this time around since it is my second season in the ILT20 with the Dubai Capitals. This team is now like a family to me, with all the international players as well as the younger UAE players working closely together. We have won two of the three games that we have played till now, so the future of our team seems bright,” he added.
Meanwhile, the ILT20 has been giving the UAE players a lot of exposure, having to play with so many reputed international stars. Akif believes this league will help improve the national team too, and the proof lies in the performance of their U19 team that reached the final of the Asia Cup in 2023.
“Our improvement as an international team depends on how we perform as players in this league. Right now, we have two players in the XI (of all the teams) but if we can prove ourselves, it will show with the number of UAE players selected in the XI. The youngsters proved it in the U19 Asia Cup. So, this shows that we have a bright future as well,” concluded the 31-year-old pacer. (IANS)