Dubai: Clearing all speculation around the second edition of the T10 League, the organisers of the event announced an expanded version with more matches and more teams with sanction from International Cricket Council (ICC) and Emirates Cricket Board. (ECB)
The expansion of the league with measures to ensure a clean event was announced at a packed news conference attended by Shaji-ul-Mulk, the chairman of T10 League, David East, the CEO of Emirates Cricket Board, Saadullah Khan, Partner of the T10 League, and Jamie Dean, Managing Partner, PPM Event Management.
Speaking to Gulf News, after the conference, Mulk explained detail on the queries that have sprang up following their last year’s title sponsors Heera Group coming under investigation by the Enforcement Department in India, resignation of T10 League president and reservations from Pakistan Cricket Board on clearing their players. “Our approach is not to focus too much on the negativity, our focus is to be positive so that we can execute the challenge and ensure the event is as successful like the first edition. From a four day tournament we are expanding to a 10 day event with 29 matches. We are growing and hence are bound to face challenges, but we are growing,” he said.
Mulk then responded on issues debated in the media recently. When asked about the change of title sponsors Heera Group, which is under investigation in India, Mulk said: “We have new sponsors onboard in different categories. As far as Heera is concerned they were our sponsors last year. We haven’t renewed their sponsorship though they are keen to come on board. If we find no investigation is happening on Heera and they are a victim of wrong propaganda, we find no reason not to take them back. We work closely with ICC and discussed this with them too. We consult and take advice on all matters.”
Regarding the changes in officials among organisers, Mulk said: “Last year we were a four day event and so we had part-timers. Our CEO was also the CEO of ARY. He was doing a part-time job. So when a property grows to a mature level, you need specialists and professionals. So it was always on the card to have a professional CEO and we have appointed a new CEO in Colonel Arvinder Singh, He was the CEO of Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League for four years and the CEO of Gujarat Lions for two years. He was also the CEO of the Preity Zinta-owned Paarl team in the South Africa T20 Global League, but since that league did not happen we had a chance to take him and we have appointed him.”
Elaborating on the permission from ICC, Mulk said: “The ICC sanction is in place. We are working with ICC to make sure everything is clean. We are working closely with Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) and Anti Doping Unit. Last year we had an officer with all the teams. This time with more teams they will increase the numbers. We have picked Pakistan players as the NOC given to ECB still stands.”
The league has announced Wasim Akram as Talent Hunt Director. “Mohammad Azharuddin was also supposed to be another director, but BCCI haven’t yet cleared him. We have to play two UAE players in the squad now instead of picking the UAE players from the 15 or twenty names we have in the UAE we will do it on a global scale and bring in new talent, give them jobs and create an additional talent to UAE.
Speaking about his ambition for the T10 league, Mulk said: “It is my dream to see this format in the Olympics. We want to take this format globally.”
Changes in T10
* Appoints new CEO with experience from IPL
* Governing council expanded with representatives from Emirates Cricket Board
* Ensure ICC Anti-Corruption Unit and anti-doping checks are in place.
* Appoint Roshan Mahanama as Head of Technical committee to ensure compliance to all ICC codes and regulations.
* Appoint Wasim Akram as Director of Talent Hunt programme
* Appoint Shahid Afridi, Brendon McCullum and Virendra Sehwag as League icons.
* Pass a regulation that players will not be invited to after-parties to eliminate the chances of questionable elements approaching players in such places.