In another assault on the tradition of cricket, a 10-over competition is set to be launched in the UAE in December.
Shahid Afridi of Pakistan, India’s Virender Singh, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and England’s Eoin Morgan will headline this T-10 competition. Each match will be 10 overs a side and spread over 90 minutes (45 minutes each side).
The tournament will last four days from 21-24 December in Sharjah, with former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan also featuring.
The four teams will be selected through a draft later in October.
After the introduction of T20s in England in 2003, with the first T20I taking place in 2005 between Australia and New Zealand, the shortest format has grown in popularity. This has seen an influx of T20 leagues in various countries – IPL (India), Caribbean Premier League (West Indies), the Big Bash (Australia), Shpageeza Cricket League (Afghanistan), Pakistan Super League (Pakistan) and Global T20 League (South Africa).
There has been a drive for the shorter formats, with suggestions even being raised to shorten Test cricket from five days to four.
T-10 league president Salman Iqbal, however, believes that the tournament will be good for the game.
‘Everyone has played T-10 cricket on the streets and this will give more fire to cricket and will be a big step forward and people will definitely enjoy it,’ said Iqbal.
Afridi, who retired from international cricket last year, said he too, is thrilled at the idea.
‘When I was told of the idea I was thrilled and requested that I want to play,’ said Afridi.
England’s current ODI and T20 captain Morgan also believes that the T-10 cricket will have a positive impact.
‘The whole concept is exciting,’ said Morgan. ‘We all remember when the first time Twenty20 cricket was played and since then it has impacted the other formats. If this new idea takes off then I am sure it will also impact the other forms of the game.’
Misbah raised the positives the league will have on ageing players.
‘Its an exciting idea and a good thing for players like me,’ said 43-year-old Misbah who retired in May this year. ‘It will need just ten overs of batting and then fielding and at this age I can afford that.’
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