It's fun, it's fast, it's glamorous and it's explosive! Cricket will find itself going through yet another revolution this December as Sharjah hosts a league of its kind - the T10 Cricket League.
As the name suggests, this is 10 overs-a-side cricket. The organisers haven’t revealed too many of the details, but have committed to ensure all matches end within 90 minutes, with a minimum of two and a maximum of three matches to be played every day during a four-day event.
The organisers have reflected on South Asia’s passion for cricket and have come up with a T10 Cricket League in the UAE. The never-seen-before format will see teams playing 10-over per innings matches. Superstars in the gentleman's game will battle it out in the shortest version since the Hong Kong Sixes, with a match lasting exactly 90 minutes.
The T10 Cricket League will be held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the UAE from 21st December till 24th December.
Sharjah cricket stadium
6 teams will be taking part in the first edition of the T20 Cricket league. The teams are Maratha Arabians, Gujarat Tigers, Pakhtoons, Punjabi Legends, Keralite Kings, Colombo Lankans and Bengal Tigers.
Maratha Arabians is co-owned by Parvez Khan, Ali Tumbi and Bollywood actor/producer Sohail Khan. Gujarat Tigers is owned by Hussein Ali and Shafi ul Mulk. Pakhtoons is owned by Habib Khan, while Punjabi Legends is owned by Pakistani legend Inzamam-ul-Haq as well as Intizar-ul-Haq and Rahil Siddiqui. Colombo Lankans and Bengal Tigers have been entered by the Sri Lanka and Bangladesh Cricket Boards respectively.
Flamboyant superstars such as Chris Gayle, Shahid Afridi, Virender Sehwag and Kumar Sangakkara have been signed up as brand ambassadors. Their role will not only be promoting the league, but also leading their respective teams.
Misbah-ul-Haq will be leading the Punjabi Legends - a team co-owned by Inzamam-ul-Haq and Intizar-ul-Haq, while Shahid Afridi, who has also been picked as the ambassador for the league, will be leading Pakhtoons, owned by Habib Khan. Talks are already underway about holding 10-over matches in Pakistan in the coming years.
Shahid Afridi and Misbah ul Haq will be leading Pakhtoons and Punjabi Legends respectively.
Sohail Khan is the co-owner of Maratha Arabians, which has the support of his brother and the iconic Bollywood superstar Salman Khan. B-Town's gorgeous actress Zareen Khan has been signed up as ambassador for Pakhtoons. The dazzling opening ceremony will include performances from several notable actors and actresses in India.
As attractive and flashy may it sound, it is serious cricket at the end of the day! It may have the dose of glamour, but a tinge of competitiveness about it as well. The league costs 51-million - not rupees but dollars. The organisers are in talks to hold it in various countries in the future, including USA, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan. There are further indications that the league may be turned into an annual feature for the next 10 years.