The tournament will feature five franchises with 22 matches held in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai over a period of 24 days.
The 16-man squads of each franchise will include six international star players, two emerging cricketers from full member countries, three from Associate nations, two juniors and three UAE cricketers.
As a Scotland international, Sharif would be eligible to be one of the players from an Associate nation, and the 27-year-old, who took the final wicket in Scotland’s thrilling six-run win against England in their ODI earlier this month, has confirmed his interest in featuring in the inaugural edition.
“Yes definitely. Any league that is being held around the world, I will put my hand up to those and put my name on the list,” he told Sport360.
“At the end of the day, you will get experience and that exposure is by playing best cricket. I heard about this UAE T20 league and I’m really, really interested in it. So fingers crossed that I do get picked for one team and that I can go on and make an impact there.”
The UAE would be the second Associate nation after Canada to host a T20 league this year. Canada’s event, which begins on Thursday, has attracted some of the biggest names in cricket, including Steve Smith, David Warner and Chris Gayle, as well as giving their own Canadian players to play.
With the UAE internationals also to feature in the ECB tournament, Sharif insists it’s the way forward for Associate cricketers to be noticed.
“It’s a good step forward for Associate cricket,” he added. “This is the kind of exposure that Associate cricketers need and there are so many players who are capable of playing in these big leagues but they have not just had that exposure. I think with a platform like this UAE T20 League, they can build on that. It’s about getting experience and hopefully there will be players who will get noticed and get picked for the bigger T20 tournaments.”
Akmal, who is no stranger to controversy, made the shocking revelations while appearing on a show on Samaa TV.
According to the 28-year-old batsman, he was approached by bookies to leave two deliveries during Pakistan’s campaign opener against arch-rivals India.
“I had got an offer during the World Cup to leave alone two balls and they were willing to pay me $200,000 for that. It was our first match against India in the 2015 World Cup,” Akmal said on the TV show.
Umar Akmal claims he was offered $200,000 during World Cup to leave two deliveries, tells @Shoaib_Jatt that he was also offered money to skip games against India. I wonder if Akmal had ever reported these approaches, if not then this statement will get him in more troubles. pic.twitter.com/inIQLN5Np4— Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) June 24, 2018
“Similar offers have been made in the past as well. In the matches with India I’ve been told to make some excuse and opt out of the game for which I’d be paid but I have told those people that I am committed to Pakistan and to not approach me ever with such offers,” he added.
India went on to win the clash at Adelaide by 76 runs ultimately. The two sides are scheduled to meet again in the 2019 World Cup at Old Trafford on June 16.
The right-handed batsman has played 16 Tests, 116 ODIs and 82 T20Is in his career so far. However, a spate of controversies, including a run-in with head coach Mickey Arthur, has seen Akmal ignored from the Pakistan set-up for some time now.
The batsman has not been called up to the international side ever since he played his last ODI against Australia in January, 2017.
Cricket players around the world could be restricted to participating in only two international T20 leagues if the latest reports are anything to go by.
According to the Mumbai Mirror, the ICC is considering formulating a policy wherein the amount of franchise T20 leagues a player can participate in will be restricted.
The report states that the ICC will consider such a step in its annual conference at Dubai next week. If formulated, the policy could see cricketers restricted to playing only one overseas T20 league apart from their home league.
This new proposed rule would not affect the BCCI and India players if it goes through. At the moment, the BCCI does not permit any of its contracted players to participate in any overseas leagues.
“It’s the first meeting (the ICC annual conference) but it’s ensuring that all of the domestic leagues popping up have minimum standards around governance/anti-corruption/paying players etc. Besides, the leagues don’t compromise players playing international cricket,” a source close to the development was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror.
In the same report, a BCCI official is quoted as saying: “They may also consider limiting the number of overseas leagues that players can play in but also ensuring that they’re appropriately rewarded for international cricket. A whole host of things to consider.
“But it will not have any impact on the BCCI or the IPL as the new rules will not be violative of the BCCI policy on T20 tournaments,” the official added.
Such a move, if passed, could have a considerable impact on many players who ply their trades in multiple T20 leagues around the globe.