Washington Freedom hopeful of impetus from pace battery

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Anrich Nortje leads an array of fast bowlers for Washington Freedom
Anrich Nortje leads an array of fast bowlers for Washington Freedom © Getty


Washington Freedom, a franchise owned by Sanjay Govil, also the chairman of Infinite Computer Solutions and managed by Cricket New South Wales (CNSW) through a strategic partnership facilitated by the MLC. The franchise garnered spotlight in the DC metropolitan area after a reformist approach to marry baseball with cricket was brought to fruition by Govil with a dual purpose stadium set to open in 2025 located at George Mason University, 20 miles from Washington DC.

To synergize operations at the new franchise, CNSW leveraged its key personnel at Sydney Sixers including the head coach Greg Shipperd and captain Moises Henriques. The two-time BBL winning captain-coach will be assisted by Dale Steyn, now globetrotting as a bowling coach in T20 leagues.

How did they fare at the domestic draft:

Domestic players hailing from South Africa dominated draft signings for Freedom. Swashbuckling keeper batsman Andries Gous opened the proceedings for the franchise at the draft. Gous demanded such fancy at the draft after amassing a whopping 616 runs at an average of 44 in the 2022 Minor League Season. Former South Africa test off spinner Dane Piedt, hard hitting all-rounders Obus Pienaar and Justin Dill followed their countryman Gous to form a strong South African presence in the squad.

Former Pakistan opener Mukhtar Ahmed teed off with a 70 against the Texas Super Kings in a practice game. The Freedom would hope Ahmed to carry the momentum into the league, after showing faith in him as their 2nd draft pick. To add to the Pakistani flair, Freedom managed to draft in another ex-Pakistan batsman Saad Ali. The 29-year-old shifted base to the US in 2021 after a solitary series against Australia failed to launch his career. Former Karnataka U19 batsman Sujith Gowda makes it to the squad after being the find of the two minor league seasons, with over 1000 runs in 30 games at a healthy clip.

International Signings:

Freedom will have their nose ahead of many of their adversaries in the fast bowling department by roping in Anrich Nortje and Marco Jansen. Glenn Phillips will look to get some game time after warming the bench at the IPL. Wanindu Hasaranga and Akeil Hosein will make the dash over the Atlantic immediately after wrapping up their respective campaigns at the World Cup Qualifier. The Sydney Sixers duo of Josh Phillipe and Ben Dwarshuis and Kiwi pacer Adam Milne add up to form Freedom's international party.

Probable XI : Andries Gous, Josh Phillipe, Mukhtar Ahmed, Glenn Phillips, Moises Henriques, Sujith Gowda/Saad Ali, Obus Pienaar, Wanindu Hasaranga, Justin Dill, Marco Jansen, Anrich Nortje

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