Cricket : UAE to launch IPL-style T20 franchise league

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Dubai: The UAE is set to join the likes of India and Pakistan in hosting its own franchise-based T20 League.

The nation will follow in the footsteps of competitions such as the established Indian Premier League (IPL), Pakistan Super League and Australian Big Bash, with the UAE having successfully hosted the IPL last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is going one better by launching its own version, with organisers looking at a December 2021 launch.

“The ECB is pleased to announce that UAE’s own exclusive T20 league has been sanctioned by ECB Chairman High Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan to Dubai Sports City and will soon be held in the UAE,” a statement read. “The dates being considered are December 2021 and January 2022.

“Like all other successful global league models, the T20 league in the UAE will be franchise based which will attract major international cricketers. Modalities of the League are being finalised.”

Dr Tayeb Kamali, ECB Board Member and Selection Committee Chairman, said: “We are delighted with the launch of our own T20 League, one we believe will enhance the growth and popularity of cricket being played in the UAE. We also envisage that UAE-based players will continue to flourish through such opportunities as they continue to make their mark on the international stage.”

Khalid Al Zarooni, ECB Vice-Chairman and Board Member Asian Cricket Council, added: “We see this League as another premier addition to our growing tournament calendar. Emirates Cricket, and the UAE, has a proven history of identifying and embracing initiatives that underpin the success of the game, as well as encourage and develop home-grown talent.”

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