After fast cars, fast food, short movie, and high speed-internet, here comes fast cricket. We are living in a day and age where time is very important. It’s a generation with low attention span which doesn’t want to wait. The best entertainment is when it is power-packed and compressed. Hence, cricket couldn’t be left behind from this change. Though the beauty and charm of matches for 5 days or also for 50 overs is valued by the purists, today’s viewer finds it tedious as he is hard pressed with time. To be relevant, you need to change with time.
Cricket has also evolved with time. It tasted huge popularity and emerged successfully as a T20 avatar. But it is now poised for yet another makeover, i.e. in the form of new franchise-based international tournament in UAE to cut even T20 to short. Yes, T10 will be the latest trend, a bonsai variant of cricket.
The iconic Sharjah stadium, which has set a world record after hosting 228 ODIs to date, will greet some of the legendary cricketers, playing currently and past, to showcase their wares in the action-packed 90-minute war from December 14 to December 17.
It’s going to be the world’s first International T10 tournament and the draft was held at Dubai on Sunday. There will be six teams playing in the tournament – Pakhtoons, Maratha Arabians, Bengal Tigers, Punjabi Legends, Kerala Kings, and Colombo Lions. Some of the legendary players who will be playing in these matches are Mohammed Amir, Virender Sehwag, Keiron Pollard, Alex Hales, Sunil Narine, Darren Sammy, and Hassan Ali. At the draft, 60 players have been selected by 5 teams, while Colombo Lions have already been announced a day in advance.
Amir was the first player who was selected in Category A as he was snapped by Maratha Arabians. Arabians picked England’s Alex Hales and Imad Wasim in next two rounds. Arabians’ coaching staff would also have some sort of star power, with legendary paceman in Pakistan, Wasim Akram as head coach and mentor.
Pakhtoons first roped in Fakhar Zaman, a batsman in Pakistan, followed by West Indies’ Dwayne Smith, and Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal. Bengal Tigers roped in Sunil Narine and backed it up with left-arm pacer in Bangladesh, Mushtafizur Rahman and double World T20-winning captain from West Indies, Sammy.
Kerala Kings selected Keiron Pollard and bowlers Shakib Al Hasan and Sohail Tanvir. Finally, Punjabi Legends selected Pakistan’s Umar Akmal and all-rounder Hassan Ali, and Chris Jordan.Shaji Ul Mulk, T10 Cricket League chairman, “We’ve had a draft in the Emirates for the first time and it is a very special event indeed.”
On a light note, he said that people had been asking for not just having a toss, instead deciding the game if overs were shortened so dramatically. He said with smile, “Answer is very simple. I got the idea of shortening the overs while watching a soccer game and I thought 90 minutes are enough to give nice entertainment to the people. Why not cricket is being played with such an intense energy?”