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Champions Trophy stars to play in T10 league

Pakistan Cricket Board gives green signal for skipper Sarfraz Ahmad & Co

Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News
Sarfraz Ahmad
Gulf News

Dubai: The nucleus of the Pakistan team that lifted the Champions Trophy in England earlier this year will be in action during the upcoming T10 Cricket League, to be held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium from December 21-25.

“The league will see all the best players from Pakistan in action as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has given permission to all their current centrally contracted players to play in the tournament,” Shaji Ul Mulk, chairman of the T10 league and the brains behind this unique 10-over league, told Gulf News.

“I am delighted that the PCB has offered their full support and confirmed the release of their players. On behalf of the T10 league management, team owners and Emirates Cricket Board, I would like to offer special gratitude to PCB chairman Najam Sethi. He has offered [his] full support to this league.”

Pakistan players currently playing in the series against Sri Lanka will now be available to team owners for selection.

“This clearance has made it possible to have stalwarts like Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmad, Champions Trophy hero Fakhar Zaman, the in-form Babar Azam, who has hit two centuries in the ongoing One-day series, pacer Mohammad Amir and the legendary all-rounder and crowd favourite Shahid Afridi participate in the T10 league,” added Shaji.

The list of all Pakistan players and some of the best limited over cricket players from different parts of the world will be handed over to the team owners soon.

“We will present the list of all the players to the six team owners of the tournament for the auction to be held on November 5. The auction will be telecast live on OSN in Middle East, Geo and PTV in Pakistan, T Sports in India, Sky in [the] UK and Willow in [the] US,” he said.

The six participating teams are Maratha Arabians, Punjabi Legends, Bangla Tigers, Keralite Kings, Colombo Lions and Pakhtoons.

Many legends of the game have welcomed the unique 10-over concept, with former Pakistan skippers Inzamam-ul-Haq, Misabh-ul-Haq and Afridi saying that this event will be well received by UAE fans.

Inzamam, a team selector for Pakistan, is also co-owner of the Punjab Legends team.

The event has gained the approval of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and is being backed by the Emirates Cricket Board.

Shaji also revealed that the Sri Lanka Cricket Board was the first to come on board when it sending the country’s provincial champions, Colombo, alongside nine of their international players.

Colombo will be led by Sri Lanka Test team captain Dinesh Chandimal.

Shaji believes that with the inclusion of the best players in limited over cricket from Pakistan, all the matches of the league will be keenly fought.

“This league is an idea that sprang out when watching 90-minute soccer matches. So I am sure this 90 minutes per match will be keenly followed.”