Zaheer Khan Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The second edition of the T10 League, in a major ‘first,’ will have a good number of Indian cricketers competing for the different teams. Last year, the event had only one Indian cricketer in former Indian opener Virender Sehwag play in the league.

Among the eight cricketers who have been signed up to compete are former Indian pacers Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, R.P. Singh, Reetinder Sodhi and batsman Subramaniam Badrinath.

Speaking to Gulf News, Shaji Ul Mulk, Chairman of the T10 League, said: “From only one player in the first edition, we will have over eight Indian cricketers playing in the second edition. It will be a big boost to the event and we expect fans to turn up in large numbers to see them during the 12 days of the event.”

“We are expecting a few more Indian cricketers, especially those who haven’t played for India but turned out in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) did not sanction any cricketer to play in leagues abroad so far. Last year, Sehwag set the trend and we are happy more Indian cricketers are willing to play in this league and it reflects the increasing popularity of this format,” added Shaji.

The star attraction will be Zaheer, who has taken 311 wickets in Test cricket, 282 wickets in One Day Internationals and 17 T20 wickets during the 14 years he represented India. Praveen, a fine seam bowler, was a part of the Indian pace battery during the early 2000 with Zaheer and Ashish Nehra, is a master at taking wickets on unhelpful wickets. Sodhi had played in 18 One Day Internationals while Badrinath played in two Tests and seven ODIs.

The TV viewership of the event is also expected to increase due to Indian cricketers’ presence and also as the event is to be telecast live through Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD in India.

Colonel Arvinder Singh, a former CEO of Kings XI Punjab and Gujarat Lions in the Indian Premier League, is now the Chief Operating Officer of T10 League and said: “The signing up of Indian cricketers for the league will inspire others to join the T10 League in future and help popularise the 10-over format cricket in India and the rest of the world.”