Playing in ILT20 is Good Opportunity for Players Taking Part in T20 World Cup 2024: MIE Captain Nicholas Pooran

MI Emirates are all set to face Dubai Capitals in the title clash of the ILT20 2024. Ahead of the coveted title clash in Dubai International Stadium on February 17, MIE captain, Nicholas Pooran, talked at length about the ILT20 journey, MI camp, and T20 World Cup in an exclusive conversation with CricketNext. Pooran, who has been in terrific form in the current ILT20 season, now only has one mission – winning the title.

“Definitely looking forward to winning the game. But, you know, we have a challenge in front of us, and we are looking forward to it,” said Pooran.

MIE have a very tricky challenge in the finals – Dubai Capitals. The Capitals have been the most unpredictable side of the tournament. From sitting at the bottom of the pile to qualifying for the finals, their journey has been nothing other than incredible. They managed the most dramatic victories in the season and have the potential to put forth a tough challenge in the title clash too.

Pooran admitted that the Capitals had a rollercoaster journey in the league but respecting them as an opponent is most important.

“For us, it’s all about respecting the opposition, respecting the conditions, and understanding what we have to do on the final day. As you said, Dubai had an up-and-down season, but I think they’re peaking (at) the right time. They’ve worked extremely hard to be here in the finals, and we need to give them that respect,” said Pooran.

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MIE finished at the top of the points table with some stunning performances across the tournament and captain Pooran credited both on and off the field camaraderie for the positive results. He said, “If you know MI, you know off the field is not an issue. Everyone is always gelling, there’s always fun times. But I think it’s really important to have that on-field chemistry so you know when tough times do hit you in the game, it’s really important that everyone can stay together and have each other’s back.”

MIE came into the Final as the table-toppers in the league stage of the tournament. The pitches at all three venues have been under the scanner throughout the tournament for being slow and difficult to bat, but Pooran finds it otherwise. “I think, these are perfect conditions. I believe if I know anything about Caribbean conditions, it’s gonna be similar. It’s a good opportunity for the players players playing in this tournament and going to take part in the T20 World Cup. I think it’s going to be similar.”

The mega T20 World Cup will this time be hosted in the USA and West Indies, and reflecting on the same, Pooran expressed how excited the people in the Caribbean are about the hosting duties.

“We’re very excited. As a nation, we’re looking forward to this T20 World Cup. There are a lot of positives from having a World Cup in the Caribbean, but as a group, as a team, we’re definitely looking forward to showing our best skills. Hopefully, we can be successful in the end and win the title. But it’s a moment where we want to cherish and obviously make memories, and hopefully, it goes in our favour,” quoted Pooran.

After a couple of years of World Cup shockers, the Windies announced their arrival with a historic Test win at the Gabba against Australia and now look forward to regaining the champion title in T20 World Cup 2024. Reflecting on the same, Pooran said, “A lot of individuals have made remarks, statements about Western Indies cricket, but we have an opportunity and that’s the most we can get at the moment. It’s for us players to take this opportunity. The nation has always been behind us and they have always supported us through thick and thin. We have an opportunity to play in front of our home crowd in a World Cup, so we’re expecting to redeem ourselves.”

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In the ongoing ILT20, Pooran has been one of the most terrific power hitters and former greats like Harbhajan Singh have named Windies batter as the ‘T20 sensation. When asked about his favourite T20 batter, Pooran answered, “There are a lot of brilliant players. You know, Sky (Suryakumar Yadav) is at the top there. You know, Maxi (Glenn Maxwell). We saw what he did last week. But, you know, a lot of amazing players.”

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