Ajman: International cricketers to take part in the Heera T10 Cricket League have started to arrive to prepare for this unique tournament set to be held from December 14 to 17 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Among the first cricketers to arrive in the UAE are Maratha Arabians’ South African all-rounder Rilee Rossou.
Maratha Arabians have drafted West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo into their squad in place of Kumar Sangakkara who had to pull out due to personal reasons. With the best hard hitting and limited over specialists players from around the world to be in action, ticket sales have been brisk.
Speaking to Gulf News, Shaji Ul Mulk, chairman of the T10 Cricket League, who is expecting to create a new benchmark in the annals of cricket, said: “We want the cricket to be serious and keenly contested and hence resisted all temptations to experiment with fancy rules. We tried to stay close to the T20 rules and the changes that have been made have come by default. When you half the T20 game, rules will change. In T20 bowlers are permitted four overs and in this only two overs. We want people to like what they are used to. For example there was a suggestion to make T10 with only 10 players, we were tempted but we did not want to do it because cricket is a 11-players’ game and we did not want reduce it.”
To encourage big hitting the organisers are offering attractive prizes. In fact, they are keen to see batsmen score centuries within the 10 overs. “A batsman who can hit a century will get a studio apartment worth Dh500,000 to be given by Ali Tumbi’s Aqua Properties. Even half century makers will get the luxury Hublo Rolex standard watch.”
All the cricket grounds in the UAE during the coming days will be buzzing with activity as the six teams have hired grounds for training.
Ticket sales are on full swing with huge demand from different parts of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. “Tickets are almost sold out in certain categories. We had so much of demand for the hospitality section that we had to expand it. We urge fans to snap the tickets soon than be disappointed.”
Sharjah Cricket Stadium is being spruced up. “Everyone will see something very different at the Sharjah stadium. Not only from the quality of the game but the way Sharjah Stadium will look. We are making many changes there.”
Mazhar Khan, General Manager of the Sharjah Cricket Club said: “The recent Afghanistan-Ireland match produced lot of runs from our pitches. The selected pitches will play true. You can expect the ball to fly off the willow and so get ready for some lusty hitting. The outfield is looking good. We have been watering it and keeping it pristine.”