Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan bowls during a One Day International in India. The leg-spinner could be one of the top picks in the five-team Afghanistan Premier League, to be held in Sharjah. Image Credit: AP

Sharjah: The Afghanistan Premier League T20 tournament to be held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium will commence on October 5.

The league has been granted approval by the International Cricket Council, following an application that was submitted by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) last month.

Following this approval, the league will now be able to field some of the finest cricketers from around the world.

As per the rules, full member nations can issue NOCs to their players only if the ICC approves the event.

On Tuesday, the ICC approved the T10 League, which is also to be held at the Sharjah Stadium from November 23.

Five teams will compete in the first edition of the Afghanistan Premier League. They have been named after provinces in Afghanistan such as Kabul, Nangarhar, Kandahar, Balkh and Paktia.

The team owners will now be able to strengthen these teams by naming icon players and including some of the best T20 players in the world.

Sharjah Cricket Stadium, which has been the home ground of the Afghanistan team for their international fixtures for over a decade, has agreed to stage the event. The league will be held for 17 days here and conclude on October 21.

This will be the third international T20 league to be held in UAE, after the country hosted the Indian Premier League and Pakistan Super League.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board has announced that: “the bidding process for the players will commence soon and all teams are expected to be finalised by the middle of August.”

A total of 23 matches will be played by the five competing teams.

The names of the owners of the teams will also be announced soon. Over 35 top cricketers have already expressed their desire to play in the inaugural edition.

The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has sanctioned the tournament to be held in UAE and ACB Chief Executive Shafiq Stanikzai thanked the ECB for its support.

Stanikzai, soon after announcing the event, had said his cricket board would strive to make the league one of top three T20 leagues in the world.

The Afghanistan Premier League is also likely to unearth many talented cricketers from different parts of Afghanistan.

It will also provide an opportunity for the Afghanistan national team players, who have impressed around the world with their skills in the shorter versions of cricket, to play alongside renowned cricketers in international cricket.