Sharjah T10 cricket league gets ICC’s approval
The first 10-over-per-side format was played in December last year at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium and this year, it was granted approval by the International Cricket Council (ICC).Updated: Aug 07, 2018 17:32 IST
In keeping with its global strategy for cricket promotion, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has now approved a T10 cricket league, a domestic franchise tournament of the Emirates Cricket Board. At a time when Test cricket and the 50-over format is under pressure to keep pace with T20 cricket’s popularity, the tournament in Sharjah from November 23 has got a solid boost from the game’s governing body.
It’s the second year of the T10 league. The first 10-over-per-side format was played in December last year at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Retired Indian star Virender Sehwag was part of a glittering line-up of limited overs specialists. The six-team, four-day affair was won by Kerala Kings who beat Punjabi Legends by eight wickets.
Kerala Kings were led by current England limited overs captain Eoin Morgan while Punjabi Legends were captained by Pakistan’s veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik. As a matter of Board of Control for Cricket in India policy, no current Indian players took part in the Sharjah venture.
This time, it will be a longer (10-day) tournament with eight teams in fray. A players’ draft has been scheduled for September. Afghanistan star leg-spinner Rashid Khan (Maratha Arabians), Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi (Pakhtoons) and Malik (Punjabi Legends), Morgan (Kerala Kings), New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum (Rajputs), West Indies’ Sunil Narine (Bengal Tigers) and Darren Sammy (Northern Warriors) and Australia’s Shane Watson (Karachians) have already been roped in as Icon players for their respective teams.
In May this year, the ICC, in a strategy paper, listed T10 as a “threat” to cricket. ICC also listed T10 cricket as a way to increase cricket participation and an opportunity to monetise this format for greater financial stability. It is learnt that the ICC is neither supporting the T10 tournament nor and has no plans at this stage to introduce another format, internationally.
Given Sharjah’s dark past with cricket corruption, India have an unofficial ban on the region, managing a scandal-free championship will be a tough ask on the organisers. A recent sting operation done by Doha-based global TV channel Al Jazeera exposed how the Emirates remain a favourite hunting ground of match fixers and the ICC is fully aware.
First Published: Aug 07, 2018 17:32 IST