All you need to know about the 6 MCL teams
A host of former legends will be in action at the MCLWith the auction for the Masters Champions League (MCL) now out of the way, the countdown to the first ever T20 league featuring the legends of the game has begun. A total of 6 teams will be participating in the MCL with each team playing against the other 5 teams once during the league stage with the top four in terms of points making it to the semi-finals.The names of the six franchises which will take part in the tournament are based on 6 zodiac signs Capricorn Commanders, Leo Lions, Virgo Super Kings, Sagittarius Soldiers, Libra Legends and Gemini Arabians. Here we tell you all you need to know about the 6 MCL teams:
#1 Libra Legends
Franchise Owner – Popcorn Sports and Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.
Icon Player – Jacques Kallis
Marquee Players – Sourav Ganguly, Graeme Swann
Predicted XI – Sourav Ganguly, Michael Lumb, Jacques Kallis, Ryan Ten Doeschate, Taufeeq Umar, Chris Read (wk), Sean Ervine, Graeme Swann, Brad Hogg, Shaun Tait, Ian Butler
Strengths – The Libra Legends have plenty of good all-rounders in the likes of Jacques Kallis, Ryan Ten Doeschate and Sean Ervine. They also have a potent spin attack led by offie Graeme Swann and chinaman Brad Hogg.
Weaknesses – The batting may be a cause of concern for the Libra Legends outside of Kallis, Ganguly and Ten Doeschate to some extent. They also don’t have a strong wicket-keeper batsman with Chris Read being the best possible option. The pace department may be found wanting with only the solitary world-class bowler in Shaun Tait.
#2 Capricorn Commanders
Franchise Owner – Sohail Khan, brother of Bollywood actor Salman Khan
Icon Player – Paul Collingwood
Marquee Players – Abdul Razzaq, Michael Vaughan
Predicted XI – Andrew Symonds, Paul Collingwood, Michael Vaughan, Abdul Razzaq, Ashwell Prince, Ryan McLaren, Geraint Jones (wk), Jeetan Patel, Upul Chandana, Rory Klienveldt, Ben Laughlin
Strengths – The strength of the Capricorn Commanders lies in the bunch of all-rounders they have such as Razzaq, Symonds, McLaren and Collingwood among others.
Weaknesses – The Commanders do not have much of a choice when it comes to wicketkeepers as they have just one in the squad, Geraint Jones. Also, the spin attack looks blunt with Jeetan Patel supposedly leading the attack and support coming only in the form of Chandana and Sunil Joshi.
#3 Sagittarius Soldiers
Franchise Owner – Ashfaq Sheikh of Orange Limited
Icon Player – Adam Gilchrist
Marquee Players – Mahela Jayawardena, Daniel Vettori
Predicted XI – Adam Gilchrist (wk), Mahela Jayawardena, Alviro Petersen, Jonathan Trott, Yasir Hameed, Gavin Hamilton, Daniel Vettori, Mushtaq Ahmed, Khurram Khan, Shane Bond, Tino Best
Strengths – The Sagittarius Soldiers batting is boosted by the presence of Gilchrist and Jayawardena. Their spin bowling is more than decent with Vettori and Mushtaq Ahmed leading the way.
Weaknesses – The main weakness for the Soldiers is the lack of good all-rounders who can make an impact in T20 cricket. The only quality bowler in the pace attack is Shane Bond. There is nothing much to talk about in the batting beyond the two stalwarts.
#4 Gemini Arabians
Franchise Owner – Nalin Khaitan, the captain of Interface cricket team that plays in UAE’s domestic cricket
Icon Player – Muttiah Muralitharan
Marquee Players – Virender Sehwag, Kumar Sangakkara
Predicted XI – Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Virender Sehwag, Brad Hodge, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jacques Rudolph, Richard Levi, Justin Kemp, Saqlain Mushtaq, Kyle Mills, Muttiah Muralitharan, Graham Onions
Strengths – Possibly the strongest batting line-up of the MCL belongs to the Gemini Arabians with the likes of recently retired greats in Sangakkara and Sehwag leading from the front. With both Saqlain and Murali playing in one team, the spin bowling looks more than efficient at least on paper.
Weaknesses – The only proper all-rounder in the squad is Justin Kemp. Even the pace attack does not look too inspiring with just Kyle Mills and Graham Onions being the two options.
#5 Leo Lions
Franchise Owner – Manyata Dutt, wife of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt
Icon Player – Brian Lara
Marquee Players – Scott Styris, Heath Streak
Predicted XI – Herschelle Gibbs, Brian Lara, Brendan Taylor (wk), Scott Styris, Hamish Marshall, Heath Streak, Johan Botha, Robin Peterson, Ramesh Pawar, Fidel Edwards, Darren Gough
Strengths – The Leo Lions enjoy the luxury of having a lot of genuine all-rounders in their team like Heath Streak, Botha and Peterson among others. The pace attack is quite decent too with bowlers like Streak, Edwards, Gough, Kyle Jarvis and Simon Jones in their ranks.
Weaknesses – The spin attack looks far from incisive with Ramesh Pawar being the leader and support coming from Johan Botha and Robin Peterson.
#6 Virgo Super Kings
Franchise Owner – Rhiti Sports, a sports management firm owned by MS Dhoni
Icon Player – Brett Lee
Marquee Players – Graeme Smith, Azhar Mahmood
Predicted XI – Graeme Smith, Neil McKenzie, Mohammad Yousuf, Jonty Rhodes, Owais Shah, Azhar Mahmood, Jacob Oram, James Foster (wk), Brett Lee, Murali Kartik, Malinga Bandara
Strengths – The batting of the Virgo Super Kings looks strong as there is a mix of good batsmen and genuine all-rounders. With Brett Lee and Dirk Nannes being the two main fast bowlers and medium pacers Mahmood and Oram supporting, the pace attack looks more than a handful.
Weaknesses – The absence of a world class spinner is clearly visible with Murali Kartik being the best bet for the Super Kings.