T10 Cricket League launches in UAE as stars Shahid Afridi, Kumar Sangakkara, Virender Sehwag and Eoin Morgan sign up to play

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The United Arab Emirates will introduce a new cricket format when big hitters Shahid Afridi of Pakistan, India’s Virender Sehwag, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and England’s Eoin Morgan feature in a T-10 league in December.

The ten-over-a-side matches will spread over 90 minutes (45 minute each side) in Sharjah, the details of which were announced here on Tuesday.

Twenty20 cricket was introduced in England in 2003 while the first international Twenty20 match was held between Australia and New Zealand at Auckland in February 2005.

Since then the shortest format – the other two are five-day Tests and 50-over internationals – has become the most popular amongst the fans around the world.

The league’s president Salman Iqbal hoped the idea will kick off.

“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.

The tournament will be as swift as the format, lasting just four days from 21-24 December with former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan also featuring.

Afridi, who retired from international cricket last year said he was thrilled at the idea.

“When I was told of the idea I was thrilled and requested that I want to play,” said Afridi, famous as Boom Boom for his big hitting.

England’s current one-day and Twenty20 captain Morgan was confident that T-10 cricket will have an impact.

“The whole concept is exciting,” said Morgan. “We all remember when the first time Twenty20 cricket was played and since then it (twenty20) 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.”

The four teams will be selected through a drafts later this month.

Misbah said the new formats will be easy for ageing players as well.

“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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Australia take clean sweep of all four trophies at Indoor Cricket World Cup

Denzil Pinto 23/09/2017
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In the end, Australia finished their Indoor Cricket World Cup campaign exactly how they started it – as world champions.

The Aussies made the 14-hour flight to Dubai as the team everyone had to beat, having won every single edition of the tournament since its inception.

Before a ball was even bowled at InSportz Club, the men’s side clinched nine titles since 1995, while their female counterparts tasted global success eight straight times when the competition was launched in 1998.

Their youths are also on the same page with their Under-21s triumphing in all five finals in both the male and female’s categories.

So, having dominated the indoor format, it was no surprise to see them to take a clean sweep in all four categories yesterday.

In the women’s showdown, Australia proved to be too strong for South Africa, who were featuring in their sixth final.

Having scored 121 inspired by high scores of 22 from Krystal Oppermann and Briony Polkinghorne, the defending champs were even better with the bowling.

After getting two run-outs in the first two balls, South Africa never really recovered as they fell way short of their target with 52. Oppermann, Laura Shaw and Nicole Martin took three wickets each.

For triumphant skipper Jude Coleman, it was her seventh World Cup success.

“It makes me feel old,” joked Coleman, 36. “They are all different and all special. Every one is with a new group of players and this one we had a lot of new players, to share that with them is always special and to win it is even better.”

It wasn’t long before the Australians were celebrating again as the men’s counterparts followed suit.

Facing old foes New Zealand, whose side included former international Jesse Ryder, they got a first hand view of the Haka for the first time in Dubai.

Yet, that didn’t distract their focus. With strong support, with the rest of the triumphant Australian sides watching in the crowd, the men did not disappoint by scoring 94 runs in their 16 overs.

Jay Otto led the way with 20 runs, while Matthew Floros hit 15.

New Zealand’s innings did not get off to the best start after finding themselves at -8 early in the first skin. But despite showing signs of improvement, Australia were too dominant with Luke Ryan finishing with three wickets as New Zealand registered 48.

It was the 10th world title for the men’s side and while skipper Lyle Teske acknowledges their run will one day come to an end, he wants the team to remain dominant.

“It’s inevitable isn’t it,” he said. “We’re going to have to lose one eventually and I’ve never seen a sporting team with this record ever. We’ll keep going and doing enough and that’s what we’ve been doing for the last few years.

“They are all good sweet victories. New Zealand are a tough opposition and if you don’t turn up on the day, they’ll come and topple you on the day.”

The men’s triumph completed a memorable day for the Aussies after their Under-21 sides retained their titles with victories over New Zealand. Their men’s side won 68-66, while their women’s side came out on top, winning 92-54.

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South Africa stun New Zealand in women's Indoor World Cup semi-finals while Jesse Ryder's dream still alive

Denzil Pinto 23/09/2017
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South Africa women’s side delivered a performance when it really mattered to stun 2014 runners-up New Zealand and set up an Indoor Cricket World Cup final with defending champions Australia.

The teams were meeting for the third time this week after New Zealand came out on top on both occasions with 70-66 and 64-57 victories.

But South Africa timed their revenge to such perfection with Nadine Moodley’s 23 and Megan Seale’s three wickets sealing a 80-74 triumph in the Preliminary Final at Dubai’s InSportz Club.

Nadine Moodley hit a crucial knock for South Africa.

With the competition following the IPL knockout format, the South Africans were celebrating success for the second time yesterday after eliminating England in their semi-final. For New Zealand, they were unable to take advantage of their second opportunity to make the showpiece final after losing to Australia 97-56 in their Eliminator.

It will be the sixth time that South Africa have reached the final and will have to do something they have never done before on this stage and that’s to beat the Australians, who have won each of the eight editions.

“It’s a sigh of relief and the batting finally came through for us so to describe how we’re feeling right now is simply impossible,” said South Africa skipper Hayleigh Wheeler.

“The final is a big challenge ahead,” she said. “We will get a good rest tonight and bring out A game and hope we can pull it off. Australia are the defending champions and no one can dispute that. Their batting and bowling is exceptional and bowling and we’ll do what we can.”

In the men’s competition, Jesse Ryder’s shot of winning the Indoor World Cup is still alive although they will have to overcome Australia today, who are searching for their 10th consecutive title.

The Australians will be buoyed they have beaten their rivals twice this week including yesterday’s 73-19 victory in the semi-final. But New Zealand, six-time runners-up, can gain revenge after beating South Africa 82-72. Keiran Butler top-scored with 16 runs, while also taking one wicket for the Kiwis.

For triumphant captain Victor Davies, he was delighted to get through the two tests but feels all the pressure will be on the defending champions today.

“Happy with the result and got a lot of work to do for the game,” said the 27-year-old. “We got one chance to become world champions and we’ll try to tick all the boxes and stick to our plans.

“Without a doubt, the final is a big one. But it’s theirs to lose. We have got nothing to lose. We have come all the way to win the World Cup and we will do everything we can to bring that home.”

Meanwhile in the men’s event, England set up a Plate final with India after beating hosts UAE 118-40. Earlier, in the Preliminary, India booked their place in the final after beating UAE 73-57.

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