New Delhi: While most of the cricketing action is happening in Sri Lanka at the World T20, former Australia spinner Stuart MacGill’s surprise presence at a hockey event here on Tuesday turned a few heads.
MacGill was here with his long-time friend and Australian hockey captain Jamie Dwyer as the leg- spinner foresees a possible career in managing the Aussie players during the Hockey India League (HIL).
MacGill, whose big turning leg-breaks foxed many batsmen during his playing days, is keeping a tab on the action in Sri Lanka and said that if India win the title for the second time, their spinners, particularly Harbhajan Singh, will have to come good.
However, the West Indies, loaded with power-hitters and all-rounders, remain his pick for the World T20 title.
“India have a dynamic batting. If India have to win the title, it has to be on the back of their spinners. Harbhajan will be the key because people who can turn the ball are very essential in T20 cricket,” said MacGill, who was part of the Sydney Sixers team which won the T20 Big Bash League last year.
MacGill, 41, ruled out any chance of Australia winning their maiden World T20 title as he did not think they have a good enough team to make it to the final. “West Indies have some very dangerous players and they can shake a few people."
“Australia, I don’t think, have a good enough team for this format. If they make it to the last four, they should feel they have done enough. They are not as good as other countries,” said MacGill, who played in an era when there was tough competition for a spinner’s place in the Australian team with Shane Warne in the ranks too.
Having finished his international cricket career, MacGill now wants to associate himself with a sport that he says he has grown up watching. Dwyer, one of the most decorated players in modern hockey, has given him an opportunity to look at avenues other than cricket. “Currently, I am here with my friend Jamie and I am somewhat managing him. My father and most of the members of my family have played hockey at some level or the other,” said MacGill.
“I want to help other Australian players during the Hockey India League (HIL).”
India’s poor show at the London Olympics came as a huge disappointment for its fans but MacGill believes that India has a lot to give to the world of hockey and HIL will be an opportunity. “At least India’s performance was better than the Beijing Games. Indian hockey isn’t just about India but international hockey as well. Sharing the dressing room with players like Jamie and other top stars will only benefit the Indian players,” said MacGill.