Sam Billings, Alex Hales, Wanindu Hasaranga signed up by Desert Vipers

England wicketkeeper-batter Sam Billings, Sri Lanka legspin-bowling allrounder Wanindu Hasaranga and West Indies left-arm quick Sheldon Cottrell are among the overseas players signed up by Desert Vipers, the franchise owned by Lancer Capital in the UAE’s International League T20.
The franchise has also brought in former Australia allrounder Tom Moody and former England wicketkeeper-batter James Foster as the director of cricket and head coach respectively.
Billings is currently leading Oval Invincibles in the Hundred while Cottrell is set to return to action from injury for St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the upcoming CPL. Alex Hales, who recently passed 10000 T20 runs, Tom Curran and Ben Duckett will join their English compatriot Billings at Vipers.

Moody has had several high-profile positions in T20 cricket, including stints as director of cricket and head coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL and as CPL’s director of cricket. At the IPL, Moody had also coached the Punjab franchise from 2008 to 2010 before linking up with Sunrisers in 2013. In international cricket, Moody had coached Sri Lanka between 2005 and 2007 – years in which the side had considerable success in Test cricket and became World Cup runners-up.

“I’m honoured to lead the cricket operations of Desert Vipers in what promises to be an entertaining and high-quality tournament,” Moody said. “We have assembled an excellent mix of youth and experience in a highly skilled squad and I warmly welcome our players from all over the world in what is truly an international event.”

Foster, meanwhile, is among the most promising coaches in England and is currently in charge of the Northern Superchargers men’s side in the Hundred. Since ending his playing career in 2018, Foster has had a number of stints in franchise cricket, including at the IPL, PSL, CPL, BBL and BPL. Foster has also worked as a consultant with England and Netherlands in international cricket.

Acquiring the Vipers franchise is Lancer Capital’s first foray into cricket. They are also the owners of Manchester United football club and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl.

The ILT20 is set to launch in January next year. The inaugural edition of the six-team competition, however, is set to coincide with South Africa’s T20 league, the BBL in Australia, and the BPL in Bangladesh.
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