Sharjah: Shaji Ul Mulk, the chairman of the T10 cricket league, who visualised this unique format, is focused on what impact his league can create in the long run. The UAE, which had stunned the world in the eighties by bringing cricket into the desert, may be gifting the cricketing world the shortest, fastest and the most entertaining format.
Speaking to Gulf News, Shaji, who is busy ensuring that everything needed to entertain the fans and spread the format around the world is in place, said: “We will become the first in the history of cricket to present the T10 concept at an international level. A lot will depend on the acceptance level of the crowd and the feedback. The way things are going, it is positive and, if executed well, it could definitely become the format people would love to play.”
Shaji, who is also the General Secretary of the Ajman Cricket Council and a member of the Emirates Cricket Board, wants to promote this format around the world. “Ajman Council will soon announce a T10 tournament at the domestic level. West Indies Cricket Board wants to start a T10 format event in Jamaica. I had a nice discussion with David Cameron [President of West Indies Cricket Board] and he has welcomed it. What we intend to do is we want to take T10 to the rest of the world. My team will want to see more than one tournament of this format being played in different countries.”
Shaji is delighted with the work done by the team owners to reach out to the communities represented by the teams. “The league itself is a South Asian community-based event and the team owners are doing a fantastic job. They are pushing all the communities here. In the end, it will be the affinity the community shows towards their teams that would pull them to the stadium. Each team is giving thousands of T shirts and the fans can wear and be in one segment with their flags.
Shaji also revealed that they have crossed the sponsorship targets they expected.
“Being our first year, we would have been happy if we would sell even fifty per cent but we sold almost 90 per cent of our sponsorships deals. We got title sponsors, associate sponsors, airline partners and more than what we could ask for in our first year. We received huge support from the business community,” he said
To ensure that the matches are professionally played, Shaji said: “We have ensured that the matches are officiated by all international ICC panel umpires and match referees. We ensured all facilities for ICC’s anti-doping and anti-corruption. We want everything to be of the highest order.”