The first edition of the Masters Champions League (MCL) is already underway in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where an array of retired superstars of the cricketing world are entertaining the fans yet again.
Among many of these stars is former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris, who is featuring for the Leo Lions franchise in the MCL. Styris took some time out to speak in length to IBTimes India edition on Tuesday about MCL, the ICC World T20 2016 and the rivalry between New Zealand and Australia.
Here are some excerpts from the interview:
How has the MCL experience been so far?
It has been brilliant so far. The quality of cricket has been excellent. We have just played a couple of matches in the MCL and the competition has been extraordinary. The people around in the UAE have been equally good.
How is it playing under Brian Lara?
I have played against him many many times in the past and it is delightful to play alongside such a legend. It is great to see him captaining the side on the field. Lara always inspires people around him. It's fantastic to see him lead the side from the front.
Do you think Leo Lions can win the league?
Oh yeah absolutely! We have too much quality in our side to be on the losing side. In our last game against the Gemini Arabians, we could not win but we will bounce back in the upcoming matches and go on to win the league for sure. Guys in the team are playing fantastic cricket.
Tell us something about India's chances in the ICC World T20 2016?
India are clear favourites to win the ICC World T20 2016 in these sub-continental conditions. Pakistan and Sri Lanka will also be on that favourites list. Bangaldesh are playing good all-round cricket as well. New Zealand will have to play extraordinary cricket in order to win the ICC World T20 2016. Spin will be a crucial factor in those conditions. So just like ICC World Cup 2011, India will have the edge over other teams.
What do you think about the New Zealand-Australia encounters as they are set to resume their rivalry when they face each other in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy from Wednesday?
It is almost like India-Pakistan! Although there is no tension between Australia and New Zealand, we love to beat them. They are always a tough side to beat. It is a big challenge ahead for New Zealand. Yet again they have an opportunity to beat the No.1 ODI side in the world.
Tell us about the evolution of the international game, as you have played in so many leagues like IPL, Natwest T20 Blast and others. Do you think the T20 format is taking cricket in the right direction?
Oh yes, undoubtedly. The game has developed over a couple of decades now. T20 is taking cricket in the correct path.
Did you like playing under MS Dhoni in the IPL for Chennai Super Kings (CSK)?
Well, IPL is a fantastic platform where you get to play with so many other players. It is like a cross-culture thing which is good for the game's development. And I simply loved playing under Dhoni. He is one of the best in business.