The UAE's plans for its own T20X cricket league are heating up. Five franchise teams will compete in 22 matches in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi from December 19 to January 11.
So far over 20 countries are expected to be represented. Boards that have approved their players include: England & Wales, West Indies, South Africa, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Ireland and 12 other ICC Associate Member nations.
Big names associated with the tournament include South African superstar AB De Villiers who has signed on to be brand ambassador for the competition although he won’t be playing. Australian players Steve Smith, David Warner and Mitchell Johnson are also reported to be interested.
Organised by Emirates Cricket Board and OPI, the league will look to boost emerging cricketing talent from the UAE and other countries. Each squad will have 16 players, four emerging and junior players, three ICC associate member team players, three UAE national team players, and six international cricket stars.
In this edition of Inside AB, Eddie Taylor and Shayan Shakeel look at the plans to make the UAE a global centre for cricket. They also dig into how the league is courting controversy. Following on from the Indian Premier League in India, Pakistan Sports League, the Big Bash League in Australia, and similar leagues in South Africa and Bangladesh, could the T20X lead to an oversaturation of tournaments in the shortest format of the game? Or is a price war for athletes imminent as franchise owners compete to win?
(Source: Arabianbusiness.com YouTube channel)