The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) have announced a new elite international T20 league which will be held in the UAE in December and January.
In partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC), the UAE-owned tournament, whose name will be unveiled in June, will be played in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. Five franchises will be vying for the inaugural title across 22 matches over 24 days.
The 16-man squads of each franchise will feature six international star players, two emerging cricketers from full member countries, three from Associate nations, two juniors and three UAE cricketers.
England & Wales, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, New Zealand and the West Indies have already shown their support with more full members expected to lend their assistance.
The event will be one of the ECB’s biggest on their busy calendar and Zayed Abbas, ECB board member and official spokesperson, is convinced it will only develop the game in the UAE.
“We are confident that this new event will play a big role in growing the game, inspiring, promoting and developing the sport in order to add to the already world-leading UAE cricketing and sporting landscape,” he said.
ECB CEO David East, added: “Our firm aim is for this event to take the sport to all corners of the UAE and to develop cricket at a grassroots level initially in – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah. This will not be just another T20 tournament, it will be a true international festival of sport and the hottest cricket ticket in the UAE.”
For Dr Nasim Ashraf, chairman of the T20 League board of directors and ECB board member, he insists the new competition will create a unique platform for the development of the best young cricketers around the globe.
“Our intention is to build a new event that is here to stay, and one that occupies a niche position in the international cricket calendar. We are not looking to compete with other T20 leagues, we are looking to develop an international festival of cricket that exists first and foremost for the benefit of the players, and with a very specific goal of helping to develop new talent from around the world and grow the game in keeping with global best practices,” he said.
“Our players will be at the heart of the action, entertaining and playing the game to the limit, looking to make a name for themselves and a mark on the world of T20. The diversity of players that will compete in this new event will represent the great diversity of the UAE – players of all nationalities love playing and staying in the UAE, with a lifestyle beyond compare. This is a chance for them to come to a winter sports super hub and play seven-star cricket in a competition that will be world-class in its design, organisation, management, quality, sound practices, compliance with rules and regulations, profile, innovation and fan experience,” he added.
Hey everyone, it’s Jay Asser here giving you a bitesize look at what’s going on this evening in the world of sport.
England took a triple-figure lead over Pakistan at the conclusion of the second day of the Headingley Test to build up the gap in the first innings after dismissing Pakistan for 174.
Top-scorer Dom Bess was dismissed one run shy of a half-century on a catch by Asad Shafiq, but England got steady contributions from Dawid Malan (28), Jonny Bairstow (21) and Chris Woakes (17).
Jos Butler (34) and Sam Curran (16) carried the side to the end of the day, with the score settling at 302-7.
Ahead of the World Cup, Egypt boss Hector Cuper is confident Mohamed Salah will be ready to go after recovering from shoulder ligament damage. “We are optimistic, and every medical reports says he will make it,” said Cuper. Read more on Salah’s status here.
Elsewhere, Antoine Griezmann has revealed he will decide on his future before the World Cup gets under way. The French star has been rumoured to join La Liga champions Barcelona. Learn more on Griezmann’s impending decision here.
Kylian Mbappe was very complimentary of France national team-mate Ousamne Dembele, calling the 21-year-old the best young player in the world. Mbappe is, of course, himself considered one of the best young talents, but he was willing to speak highly of Dembele.
At the French Open, Karolina Pliskova was beaten by Maria Sharapova 6-2, 6-1 in the third round. After the loss, the world No6 admitted it was one of the worst matches of the year for her. Read more on the result and Pliskova’s comments here.
On the men’s side, clay monster Rafael Nadal made short work of Richard Gasquet, eliminating the Frenchman with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory.
In the Arabian Gulf League, Al Jazira confirmed Marcel Keizer will be the successor to Henk ten Cate as head coach of the Pride of Abu Dhabi. Matt Monaghan has more on the hiring here.
After the UAE national cricket team were added to the ODI rankings, players like Ahmed Raza and Rohan Mustafa believe the ICC should arrange regular fixtures with Test nations. Denzil Pinto has more on it here.
In cycling, UAE Team Emirates rider Diego Ulissi will be back on the bike for the first time since the Giro d’Italia in the GP Lugano on Sunday.
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Brendon Netto dove into the situation at Chelsea, where Roman Abramovich is in the midst of a visa situation that could impact the club. But according to Netto, Stamford Bridge isn’t falling down.
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10:15 pm – England in control
England took their first innings lead to 128 after reaching 302 for seven at stumps on Day Two of the second Test against Pakistan.
Jos Buttler was batting on 34 when play was called off as every English batsman reached double digits at Headingley.
For scores, click here.
10:00 pm – England consider four-day Test
England are considering the possibility of hosting Ireland for a four-day Test at Lord’s next year.
According to the Press Association, the match could be held before the World Cup.
Read the report here.
8:15 pm – UAE wants more cricket
UAE players have asked the ICC to arrange regular fixtures with Test nations after they were added to the official ODI rankings.
Ahmed Raza said teams like Pakistan that use facilities in the UAE regularly should play Associate nations like UAE more often.
Read the full story here.
8:00 pm – England stretch lead
England took their total past 200 in the third session of play on Day Two of the second Test against Pakistan after rain washed out the first session.
England were 212-5 with spinner Dom Bess getting out one short of a deserved fifty.
Catch all the live updates here.
12:30pm – Day 2 likely to be curtailed by rain
England’s quest to build a first-innings lead on day two of the second and final Test against Pakistan is likely to be hampered by the weather.
The hosts, with skipper Joe Root unbeaten on 29, are set to resume on 106 for two in reply to 174 at Headingley from 2pm GST.
But the forecast suggests plenty of rain is expected throughout the day in Leeds.
12:00pm – Broad responds to Vaughan criticism
Stuart Broad was angered by Michael Vaughan’s criticism before the second Test but will bear no grudges over his former captain’s comments.
Vaughan suggested England should consider dropping either Broad or his record-breaking pace partner James Anderson at Headingley, but both got three wickets on Day 1 as England bowled Pakistan out for 174.
“You get used to both positive and negative opinions…but sometimes I don’t think it is justified,” Broad said. “This time, it did anger me a little bit – because I thought it was a bit unfair, and a bit targeted really. So I called him and expressed my disappointment in his comments.”
Read more here.