The second most popular sport in the UAE is set to get its due recognition through franchise cricket. This initiative, named UAE T20x, aims to help the game grow globally and lure international investors. The league will take off with an intention to stay for years to come, and endorse fan engagement to the otherwise pretty quiet stadiums in the UAE.
The tournament is still in its planning stages, but the overseas players are likely to earn more in the UAE T20x in a shorter span than the Big Bash League. “As we count down to the league, we will continue to grow UAE T20x’s roster of burgeoning stars of cricketers, coaches, mentors and Icon Players,” said Salman Sarwar Butt, CEO of UAE T20x.
The inaugural season of the UAE T20x will take place between December 19 and January 11.
The first international T20 league owned by the Emirates Cricket Board will offer a development programme for the ambitious young cricketers from the UAE and around the world, to showcase their talent in front of the larger audience. The organisers are certain this league will play its part in helping the game grow in the UAE and beyond.
Five franchises with 16 players per squad will be seen playing a total of 22 matches in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. The tournament format will be double round-robin league and playoffs. The 16-man squads will consist of six international players, four emerging and junior players, three ICC Associate member players and three players from the UAE.
The top coaches from across the globe who have been roped in for UAE T20x include Waqar Younis, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Saqlain Mushtaq and Chaminda Vaas. Moreover, 98 coaches from 11 different countries have expressed their interest in the tournament. The list includes India’s VVS Laxman, Robin Singh, Venkatesh Prasad, Sanjay Bangar and Pakistan’s speedster Shoaib Akhtar.
AB de Villiers has been announced as the league’s non-playing global ambassador, the organisers have confirmed. The South Africa legend, who holds the record for the fastest ODI half-century and century, will be joined by other icon players.
Say hello to Mr. 360!— UAE T20X (@UAET20X) August 14, 2018
Cricket legend and #UAET20x global ambassador @ABdeVilliers17 has a message to cricket fans in the UAE and across the world.
Follow us to find out more about the UAE's first international T20 league. pic.twitter.com/8U2CGQouN6
South Africa’s David Miller, West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell and England captain Eoin Morgan have been named as three of the five icon players for the UAE T20x.