DUBAI: With just two days to go for the Players Draft in the Abu Dhabi T10, Deccan Gladiators have retained Sri Lankan leggie and explosive batter Wanindu Hasaranga in the squad.
Hasaranga joined England all-rounder Tymal Mills and UAE fast bowler Zahoor Khan in the list of retained players by the franchise. West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell is the 'Icon Player' of the team.
Hasaranga, who is currently playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League, shot into limelight in his first ever One-day International (ODI) when he claimed a hat-trick against Zimbabwe and thereby becoming the third debutant and the first leggie in the history of the game to claim that feat.
His seven wickets in three T20 Internationals, with best figures of 4/9, helped Sri Lanka beat India in the recently-concluded limited overs and T20I series at home.
The 24-year-old is one of the most promising cricketers on Sri Lanka's cricket horizon. Someone who was drafted straight into the senior national squad from his U-19 side, Hasaranga plays all formats of the game (Test, ODIs, T20Is and T10) and his all-round abilities can be vital in Deccan Gladiators quest for their maiden Abu Dhabi T10 title this season.
"I think my batting and bowling style suits this version more than any other formats that I play, and so, I am looking forward to going out there, doing what I do best, and bringing home the cup! I can't wait to join the likes of Dre Russ (Andre Russell), Tymal (Mills) and Zahoor (Khan) in the Deccan Gladiators line-up.
"I am a leg-spinner and I am eagerly waiting to meet my childhood hero and coach of Deccan Gladiators, the legendary leg-spinner from Pakistan Mushtaq Ahmed. I am sure I will be able to learn a lot from him," said Hasaranga after his retention in the Deccan Gladiators squad.
Deccan Gladiators owner Gaurav Grover said: "One of the most talented all-rounders in world cricket at the moment, he is such a great player for his age and he handles the tough situations perfectly. I am so glad to have a match-winner like him in our side."