The inaugural Masters Champions League will begin on 28 January. Virender Sehwag will have a dual role for the Gemini Arabians in this six team tournament. Along with captaining the team, he will also be the Team Director. Speaking in a press conference at the launch of the Gemini Arabians team, Sehwag mused on the ideal warm up before a Twenty20 series.
"Every format has a different role.” Sehwag said. “If you play Test matches and then switch to T20s immediately it is difficult but if you play Tests, followed by ODIs and then T20s I think it is easier." he added.
Sehwag also opined that when stripped to its bare essentials, the format or colour of the ball do not matter one bit. "It doesn't matter what format you are playing or what colour the ball is, cricket remains the same. It's how you go about playing the game."
Sehwag also cited the strong play of David Warner across different formats. "Look at David Warner he just plays all the formats in the same manner and is successful. So whether it's the white ball or coloured ball as a batsman one has to adapt," he said.
A career extending move
Sehwag felt that the MCL will be an exciting new avenue for players to pursue once in or past the twilight of their careers. “It is a great opportunity for players like us to extend our careers once we have retired from international cricket and use the opportunity to show our talent. It gives them a chance to extend their careers and I am lucky to be a part of it."
“I’m sure people will want to come and watch. To be able to watch Saqlain Mushtaq bowling, or watch me batting, or watch other legends, it is very exciting.”
Sehwag was committed to stay on the matter at hand even when repeatedly questioned about India's tour of Australia or the upcoming T20 World Cup in India. He said: "If Sehwag has said no then even the President or the Prime Minister cannot make me speak. I'm here to talk only about the MCL and my team Gemini Arabians and nothing else."
Speaking of his role with the Gemini Arabians Sehwag said "My role as Team Director will be to ensure that the players arrive on time and the practice facilities are available to them. My role is also to look after the team, make sure that bowlers are provided if some player wants extra hits in the nets. I have to plan team strategies and discussions first with the team owners and later with the players."
Sehwag said he doesn't expect any ego clashes in the locker room or outside. He said "As professionals we are used to playing in different situations and with players from different countries. I have played 'with' and 'against' most of the players in my team. They are all good human beings and I'm sure they will have their views and we will have ours but we will make sure that all are made comfortable and the game is played in the right spirit.”