England captain Eoin Morgan joins list of stars signed up for UAE T20x
Organisers of the new league say Morgan’s leadership qualities make him a perfect fit for their concept
Eoin Morgan will bid to extend his run of success in UAE when he plays at the first UAE T20x, starting in December.
The England limited-overs captain was in charge when Kerala Kings won the maiden T10 League in Sharjah last winter.
He is set for an extended winter break in the Emirates this time around. The first Twenty20 league run by the Emirates Cricket Board will follow on from the second T10 League, which finishes on December 2.
Morgan is the third player to be named as playing in the event, after the T20 specialists David Miller, from South Africa, and Andre Russell, of West Indies, last week. AB de Villiers has also been announced as an ambassador for the league.
The organisers of the new league say Morgan’s leadership qualities make him a perfect fit for their concept.
The competition aims to set itself apart from other T20 leagues by focusing on emerging cricketers. It is stipulated that the five franchises must have three UAE players, as well as three others from non-Test playing countries in their squads.
"The UAE T20x is a league for all players and fans, and it is refreshing to see a progressive and inclusive T20 that gives everyone an equal opportunity to get involved,” Morgan said.
“The franchise make-up will provide opportunities for players from both ICC Full member and Associate member countries alike to play and develop their skills alongside the very best in the world, which is fantastic.”
The new event is likely to become a standout feature of the busiest season ever for UAE cricket.
The Asia Cup, which will see the likes of MS Dhoni, Lasith Malinga and Mohammed Amir playing in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, runs from September 15 to 18.
That is followed by a three-day T20 festival in Abu Dhabi, the new Afghanistan Premier League in Sharjah, then later in November and December, the T10 League and UAE T20x.
In addition, Pakistan will play international series against Australia and New Zealand, between October 7 and December 7.
The packed calendar extends beyond the shores of the Emirates. The UAE T20x runs at a similar time to Australia’s Big Bash League, meaning separate competitions, not just the franchises within them, are competing for the signatures of leading players.
“As we count down to the league we will continue to grow UAE T20x's roster of burgeoning stars of cricketers, coaches, mentors and icon players," said Salman Sarwar Butt, the league’s chief executive.
“Morgan's brilliance on the field as a player and a leader makes him a great fit for the UAE T20x and for driving this league to inspire, promote and develop the sport in the UAE and wider region."
Updated: September 2, 2018 05:56 PM