The opening game of the Masters Champions League (MCL) T20 2016 will be played between Libra Legends and Gemini Arabians at the Dubai International Stadium on Thursday.
The Legends franchise have already taken a massive blow as their skipper Sourav Ganguly will miss the opening fixture because of back spasm. The doctors have advised him to take rest.
Gulf News reported on Wednesday that the former Indian captain has pulled out of the MCL T20 2016 because of an injury. This was a major setback for Ganguly fans as well as the Legends team. But Legends franchise clarified later on Wednesday that Ganguly will miss the opening fixture and he will take some time to recover from his back injury. But 'Dada' will be present at the venue on Thursday to support his side in the opening game of the MCL.
"He (Ganguly) had signed the playing contract much earlier and was committed to play in the tournament. Despite his busy schedule, Ganguly had engaged himself in regular practice sessions for a while until this unfortunate turn of events," a source close to Ganguly told mediapersons on Wednesday.
"We have already written to the league management clarifying the position and despite the medical advice, he will be undertaking a four and-half hour flight each way to be with the team for the first match."
Meanwhile, Virender Sehwag-led Gemini Arabians will look to make a winning start to the tournament. Arabians have a lot of firepower in their lineup apart from Sehwag, in the form of Kumar Sangakkara, Richard Levi and Brad Hodge. They also have two of the world class spinners -- Saqlain Muhstaq and Muttiah Muralitharan.
"I think my name is enough. I don't need to give any message. Everyone is looking forward to the first MCL match and once that comes around, everybody will get into the groove for the next four games," Sehwag told reporters at the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
Jacques Kallis will be leading the Legends in the absence of Ganguly. The Libra Legends also have enough arsenal to launch an attack on the Arabians bowling lineup. Michael Lumb, Sean Ervine, Ryan Ten Doeschate and more will try and light things up at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium for Libra Legends on Thursday.
Libra Legends: Graeme Swann, Jacques Kallis (C), Brad Hogg, Ryan ten Doeschate, Ajay Ratra, Sean Ervine, Ryan Sidebottom, Micahel Lumb, Marcus North, Taufeeq Umar, Ian Buttler.
Gemini Arabians: Virender Sehwag (C), Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara, Kyle Mills, Saqlain Mushtaq, Jacques Rudolph, Rana Naved ul Hasan, Justin Kemp, Paul Harris, Brad Hodge, Richard Levi.
Where to watch live:
The opening match of the Masters Champions League - Libra Legends vs Gemini Arabians is scheduled for 7:30 pm local time (9 pm IST, 8:30 pm Pakistan time, 10:30 am EST & 3:30 pm GMT) start. The live coverage of the T20 game in India will be on Sony SIX and Sony SIX HD. The live streaming option will be available on Sony LIV.
Libra Legends vs Gemini Arabians will be broadcasted live on PTV Sport in Pakistan. The fans can stream the opening match of the MCL T20 2016 on GeoSuper.
Fans in the Middle-East can watch the live action of Libra Legends vs Gemini Arabians on TenSport.
Supersport Africa will telecast Libra Legends vs Gemini Arabians live in the Sub-Saharan countries.
Audience in the Caribbean island can watch the opening fixture of the MCL - Libra Legends vs Gemini Arabians live on SportsMax.
There will be no live telecast of the Masters Champions League in UK, But the fans of the game should not be disheartened as they can stream the MCL games on Watch Sky Sports.
Willow TV will broadcast the game live in US. Willow TV Online will live stream the MCL games.