The United Arab Emirates is all set to inaugurate a new T-10 cricket format when India’s Virender Sehwag, Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, Kumar Sangakkara from Sri Lanka and Eoin Morgan from England will feature in ten-over matches in December.
These short matches will last only 90 minutes (45 minutes each side) in Sharjah. India’s opener Virendra Sehwah, Sri Lanka’s legend Kumar Sangakkara, and opener Fakhar Zaman from Pakistan will play in inaugural edition of T-10 Cricket League for Maratha Arabians.
T20 Cricket was started in 2003 in England when the first international T20 match was played between New Zealand and Australia in February 2005 at Auckland. Since then, this shortest format became the most anticipated, along with 50-over ODIs and 5-day Tests, in the world.
The T10 League is the brainchild of Salman Iqbal, a businessman in Pakistan, and Emirates Control Board. Behind the idea, he stated, “We all have played it already on the streets. I believe it will add more flame to the cricket and will be a huge step ahead and people will surely love it.”
The tournament is expected to be as smooth as the format itself. It will last from December 21 to December 24, i.e. just four days, also featuring Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan and Pakistan’s skipper Misbah-Ul-Haq. Najam Sethi, Chairman, Pakistan Cricket Board, announced the support of him and the board to T-10 tournament. Afridi said he was excited with this idea, who retired last year from international cricket.
Boom Boom Afridi, who is known for his hard hitting, said “When I got to know the idea, I was excited and requested to play in this format.” The existing T-20 and one-day captain of England, Morgan was assured that T-1o will bring an impact.
Morgan added, “The entire concept is amazing. We remember when T20 was first played. Since then, it changed the whole game and other formats. If that idea takes off, I am pretty sure that it will impact other formats of the game.” Later this month, the four teams will be shortlisted via a draft.
According to Misbah, new formats will be simple for aged players too. The 43-year-old Misbah, who retired from cricket this year on May, added, “It’s an exciting concept for ageing players like me. We can afford batting for just 10 overs and field at this age.”
The co-owner of Maratha Arabians is Sohail Khan, who is a Bollywood actor. The National reported the first edition of T-10 will feature 6 teams and played in December. Officials from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka cricket boards have planned to co-manage two teams – Bangla Tigers and Colombo Lions. The co-owner of Punjabi Legends would be Inzamam.
Shaji Ul Mulk, founder and chairman of tournament added, “We are in discussion with Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh about having the matches of T10 there. First year would be critical. If the game is started well and picked up the way it must, it could be adopted at national, regional and international level.”