Sharjah: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, which figures in the Guinness Books of World Records for hosting the maximum number of One Day International matches, is set to add another feather in their cap by becoming the first venue to stage the innovative T10 tournament with a host of top international cricketers.
6 teams. 10 overs. 90 minutes.
The teams are arriving in style, filled with the greatest cricketers, all set to change the dimension of the game.
Watch the #DesertStorm, from December 14th-17th at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. pic.twitter.com/vJC5YCbiMW— T10 League (@T10LeagueTweets) November 27, 2017
Huge banners have come up around the ground with the red carpet already laid out to welcome the star international cricketers and celebrities. The venue has been spruced up with lights while IPL-type music will be blaring to entertain the crowd during intervals.
Celeb-spotting at the event
South Asian TV and movie celebrities will be attending the event and cheering for different teams adding the show factor to the event in Sharjah.
Confirmed attendees include Richa Panai, Vaani Kapoor, Aiman Khan, Sunil Shetty, Humaima Malik, Urvashi Rautela, Sana Khaan, former pro-wrestler Great Khali among others.
Gulf News is on the venue to bring you latest videos and photos of the celebrities in attendance.
Star cricketers call upon their fans
The six teams of the league are Colombo Kings, Bengal Tigers, Maratha Arabians, Punjab Legends, Pakhtoons and Kerala Kings.
It is the day that we all have been waiting for... Here is what the swashbuckling batsman @DavidMillerSA12 has to say to all our #tigers.#BasAbDus #PassionPrideGlory #āmārateamāmārabaṅgala @T10LeagueTweets pic.twitter.com/abw7GOogwc— BengalTigers_T10 (@BengalTigersUAE) December 14, 2017
As the tournament is slated to be a contest of supporters of the South Asian communities, star cricketers in the six teams are keen to ignite the fervour among the fans for their teams — calling them to come out in large numbers to cheer for their teams.
These stars players include England skipper Eoin Morgan, leading Kerala Kings, Shahid Afridi, who will lead the Pakhtoons team, Maratha Arabians captain Virender Sehwag and Dinesh Chandimal leading Team Sri Lanka.
All the details you need
When and where
The event will be from December 14 to December 17 (detailed fixtures below). The venue is Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Second Industrial Street,Industrial Area 5 in Sharjah.
North Stand (Dh20), West Stand (Dh40) Grand Stand (Dh70) and Member’s Enclosure (Dh100)·and Celebrity Stand (Dh500).
Get tickets online here and they also will be available at all branches of the UAE Exchange, Al Fardan Exchange and Al Ghurair Exchange as well as Leopards Courier and Karachi Darbar outlets across the Emirates.
Watch live on TV
The matches are being telecast by OSN to 93 countries with a possible audience of two billion people.
What is a T10 format?
T10 is essentially a 90-minute affair like football with a maximum of just 10 overs per side, with each bowler bowling no more than two overs in an innings. In case of a tie, the result will be decided through a Super Over.
6pm: Opening Ceremony
Bengal Tigers vs Kerala Kings
Maratha Arabians vs Pakhtoons
4pm: Bengal Tigers vs Punjabi Legends
6pm: Maratha Arabians vs Team Sri Lanka, 8pm: Punjab Legends vs Kerala Kings
10pm: Pakhtoons vs Team Sri Lanka.
4pm: Team 1 of Group A vs Team 3 of Group B
6pm: Team 3 of Group A vs Team 1 of Group B
8pm: Team 2 of Group A vs Team 2 of Group B
10pm: Bottom 2 Teams of both the groups combined will play off for the 5th and 6th place.
From 5.30pm: First Semi Finals: Team 1 overall v Team 4 overall.
Second Semi Finals - Team 2 overall v Team 3 overall
Finals, followed by closing ceremony
Lead up to the opening ceremony
The team owners have been busy making special arrangements for the team’s fans with T-shirts and flags of the teams to be distributed to the fans have arrived to create huge visual impact. The wickets for the matches have been specially prepared to ensure tall scores within the limited overs.
Speaking to Gulf News, Mazhar Khan, General Manager of the Sharjah Cricket Club, said: “The wickets have been prepared in such a way to help big hitting. We have selected the pitches in such a way that cricketers will be able to entertain the crowd through some lusty hitting.”
Special care has been given to the outfield as players are likely to throw themselves to prevent runs as every run will count in this shortest format of the game. “The ground is in excellent shape. We have been watering the outfield in such a way that grass is smooth and hence the outfield is looking very good.”
Shahid Afridi, the captain of the Pakhtoons team, who has attracted huge crowd to this venue, said: “Sharjah has always been a special venue. As soon I was told about T10 cricket, I got thrilled and I immediately said that I want to play it.”
Following Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s suggestion to use white ball instead of the pink ball, the organisers have got white kookaburra balls for the T10 league.
Shaji-Ul Mulk, the chairman of the T10 Cricket League, said: “To pass on the excitement from Sharjah to other parts of the world we will have the best commentators giving commentary. Danny Morrison, Dean Jones and Rameez Raja are among the commentators. The matches are being telecast by OSN to 93 countries with a possible audience of two billion people.
Shoaib Malek, who will captain Punjab Legends, holds the record for the second highest score in T20 Internationals at this venue. He hit 75 runs off 54 balls against in November 2015, though Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahid holds the record for the highest score in T20 when he cracked an unbeaten 118 off 67 balls against Zimbabwe in January 2016.