UAE T20X Tournament logo - Image by UAE T20X @UAET20X (Twitter)

The landscape of opportunities for Associate member players is breaking new barriers now with Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) announcing the launch of UAE T20X in 2018 with 5 franchise-based format.

The tournament has been sanctioned by International Cricket Council (ICC) and will see 15 Associate member players take part in the inaugural edition of the T20 league. All matches will be played in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah comprising of 22 matches in total to be played in 24 days in Dec 2018/Jan 2019.

All the five franchises will be made up of a squad of 16-members, that will include 6 International marquee players, 4 emerging players from ICC Full Member countries, 3 players from ICC Associate Member nation and 3 UAE cricketers. Further details about the competition including schedule, ticketing and players selection will be announced in due course by Emirates Cricket Board.

“We are confident that this new event will play a big role in growing the game, inspiring, promoting and developing the sport in order to add to the already world-leading UAE cricketing and sporting landscape,” said Zayed Abbas, ECB Board Member and Official Spokesperson on their website.

“Our firm aim is for this event to take the sport to all corners of the UAE and to develop cricket at a grassroots level initially in – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah. This will not be just another T20 tournament, it will be a true international festival of sport and the hottest cricket ticket in the UAE,” said David East, CEO of the ECB on their website.

In what will be a big move in the growth of sport in UAE, the tournament will provide much needed exposure to UAE players to play alongside the bigger and global T20 circuit names. With 4 players from UAE (Rohan Mustafa, Mohammad Naveed, Ahmed Raza & Shaiman Anwar) selected in the Canada Global T20 players draft, there could be good case for Canadian players to also feature in the UAE T20 league. Same goes for players from Nepal as well including the likes of Sandeep Lamichhane and Paras Khadka, where UAE captain Rohan Mustafa and Ashfaq Ahmed took part in a recently concluded T20 league.

Hong Kong captain Babar Hayat, who has played in the T10 League in UAE is also a good contender to feature in the tournament. And hopefully, players from Scotland and Netherlands will also feature as they do not have any International commitments scheduled as of now during the Winter season.

The organisers have announced that around 20 Cricket Boards (including more than 10 Associate member nations) have agreed to let their players participate in the tournament, which will run at the same time as Australia’s Big Bash League.

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