ECB chief East planning women's Twenty20 competition

Denzil Pinto 11:29 30/03/2016
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Humaira Tasneem (second left) says hosting T20 in UAE is an important move.

Emirates Cricket Board chief David East has revealed he is looking at the possibility of staging a women’s Twenty20 event for Gulf and Asian nations.

Still in its early stages, ECB officials have proposed the idea to the Asian Cricket Council to stage the Twenty20 competition towards the end of 2016.

It comes after the women’s side retained their Gulf Cup title after beating hosts Qatar by five wickets in Doha last December.

“We are looking at the possibility of hosting a tournament at the end of the year,” said East, during a ceremony at Sharjah Cricket Club on Monday to honour the UAE’s women’s Gulf Cup triumph.

“It’s not finalised yet but we’ve got to explore it and we are keen to do it. We want to broaden the Gulf Cup and bring some East Asian sides. It’s good to challenge yourself against teams that are better.”

He insists the tournament, if it takes place, would be a great learning curve for the hosts, who rarely play home internationals.

“It’s an opportunity that will give the girls a great chance to play at home. It’s good to challenge yourself against teams that are better.

“Any opportunity for any team to play better opposition in any kind of competition can only help in terms of team development. It’s important to keep that competitive cycle rolling.”

Captain Humaira Tasneem, who led the team to victory in Qatar, welcomed the idea, saying it would be a big boost.

“I think to host a tournament in the UAE is very important,” said the 20-year-old leg-spinner, who is studying architecture at the American University of Sharjah.

“We play a lot of tournaments away but we have never played in the UAE against these Gulf teams. Inviting those teams would be a big deal for us.”

She added: “We train here regularly and to play against these teams in our home conditions and in front of our fans would make us better players, not just as a team but individually. It would be a great challenge to defend our title and I think we would feel the pressure.”

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