The Black Caps and All Blacks will go head-to-head early next year in a T20 match to be held at Christchurch, all for charity.
Former New Zealand skippers Stephen Fleming and Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, Grant Elliot and Luke Ronchi are some of the names who will turn out for the Black Caps in the charity match.
The All Blacks, meanwhile, will be captained by Kieran Read with the likes of Richie McCaw, Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett and Israel Dagg appearing for the match.
The money raised by the charity match will go to the benevolent funds of the rugby and cricket associations of New Zealand.
Read, who is currently the skipper of the All Blacks, has played age-group cricket for Northern Districts previously and has admitted to being slightly nervous for the match.
“I’m going to be a bit nervous, to be honest,” Read told Stuff.co.nz.
“You lose your hand-eye co-ordination pretty quickly in this game. I’ll have to get out and hit a few balls to get my eye back in.”
Stephen Fleming will lead the professional cricketers in the game and he is expecting a tough fight from the All Blacks.
“I thought if we had the opportunity with a brand as big as the All Blacks, it would pique my interest,” Fleming had told the Herald on Sunday.
“We’re putting our reputations on the line here. We know just how good the likes of Kieran and his rugby mates are at cricket. They’re exceptional athletes and many of them could have been international cricketers had they chosen another path. So we’re on high alert, that’s for sure.”
The charity T20 match is slated to be held in the early part of 2019.
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Season two of the T10 Cricket League – the world’s first 10-over cricket league sanctioned by the International Cricket Council – will get under way in the UAE later this year with the addition of two new teams taking the total number of participants to eight for 2018.
The team draw took place earlier this week, with the Karachians and Northern Warriors the two newest sides to join the competition.
They will play alongside last year’s inaugural T10 League champions the Kerala Kings, as well as runners-up the Punjabi Legends and Maratha Arabians, Bengal Tigers, Rajputs and Pakhtoons.
The teams have been drawn in to two groups to fight it out in the second season which will take place from November 23 to December 2 – UAE National Day – at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
The tournament will take place amid the backdrop of recent recognition by the ICC, the global governing body of cricket, that makes it the world’s first 10-over format league.
Season one of the T10 Cricket League was a runaway success, drawing large crowds for games at Sharjah Cricket Stadium and watched by fans across the GCC, South Asia and even parts of Africa.
The league was launched by T10 Sports Management to popularise the game of cricket in its shortest format, with two teams batting it out in just 10 overs – or just 60 balls – as exciting games conclude within two hours and thrill the crowds.
“The T10 Cricket League is gaining ground with the formal recognition of the International Cricket Council and the interest shown by the stakeholders that encouraged us to add two new teams to the league,” Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk, chairman of the T10 Cricket League and T10 Sports Management, said.
“The team draw is a testimony to the growing popularity of not only the T10 Cricket League but also the game of cricket, which can now be played in less than two hours.
“This year’s T10 Cricket League will help expand and popularise the game of cricket further. We see this as a growing movement and I urge all to join this and help take the game further.”
The team draw will be followed by a player’s draw which takes place in a few weeks’ time and will see the world’s top cricketers being selected by the eight teams – from a pool of cricketing legends.
England’s limited overs captain Eoin Morgan led the Kings to victory in season one, with aggressive West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard also in the side.
They defeated a Legends side led by skipper Shoaib Malik, New Zealand batsman Luke Ronchi and England bowler Liam Plunkett.
Salman Iqbal, president of the T10 Cricket League, said: “Cricket is being re-invented in the UAE and the T10 Cricket League is at the forefront of this journey.
“We are getting a large crowd joining us in this great journey where we hope to break new grounds with many more surprises to come.”
GROUP A GROUP B
Kerala Kings Punjabi Legends
Karachians Bengal Tigers
Pakhtoon Maratha Arabians
Rajputs Northern Warriors
UAE T20X, the newly-launched T20 cricket league owned by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), have revealed white-ball legends Andre Russell and David Miller as the first of five Icon Players to sign up to play in the inaugural competition this December.
The two all-rounders, South African Miller and big hitting Jamaican Russell, will each represent one of the five franchise teams during the tournament, which will run from December 19 to January 11 in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
News of their participation comes shortly after the announcement of AB de Villiers as the global ambassador for UAE T20X, and builds upon the league’s commitment to recruit the most internationally diverse player make-up of all the franchise tournaments.
Miller said: “I grew up in a country that is crazy about cricket and it meant there were a lot of opportunities to learn and develop as a player. What I love about UAE T20X is the legacy it aims to leave, not just in the UAE, but across the broader Middle East region, and around the world, especially amongst emerging and junior players from both ICC Test and Associate member countries.
The aggressive left-handed middle-order batsman, who has played 109 ODI matches and chalked up 61 T20 caps, continued: “Not only will the league be an amazing spectacle for fans to watch, but it has the potential to inspire a new generation of players who will help grow the game across this region. It’s something I am passionate about and want to be involved in.”
Russell, widely regarded as one of the biggest hitters of the cricket ball in the game today, added: “The UAE T20x has to be one of the most exciting and entertaining tournaments to launch in a long time. It’s got everything- a star studded line up of players and icons, amazing facilities in a progressive country and passionate fans who come from all over the world. I’m really looking forward to seeing it all come to life this December.”
As an ICC Associate Member, the ECB has put the growth of the sport at its heart, and a key aim of UAE T20X is to not only generate new income streams that can be reinvested directly into the grassroots of the game, but to provide a platform where local and international emerging talent can develop through coaching and competition.
Zayed Abbas, Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) Board Member and Official Spokesperson said: “Whilst development of emerging talent – both local and international – is at the heart of our vision for UAE T20X, we are still committed to attracting the very best players from across the cricketing world.
“There are very few people who can match Russell’s big hitting prowess or Miller’s aggressive battling style, so having these two legends playing in the league will add a very exciting dimension for our fans.”