Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 1 October 2020

New T10 league to be broadcast live as cricket makes return to UAE

The Emirates D10 is scheduled to start on Friday as the sport continues its return after the coronavirus lockdown

From left to right: Vivek Chandra, Director and head of Business at ITW MENA, Mubashshir Usmani, General Secretary of the Emirates Cricket Board and Richard Saldhana, Head of Sales and Broadcasting at ITW MENA, during the launch of the Emirates D10. Chris Whiteoak / The National
From left to right: Vivek Chandra, Director and head of Business at ITW MENA, Mubashshir Usmani, General Secretary of the Emirates Cricket Board and Richard Saldhana, Head of Sales and Broadcasting at ITW MENA, during the launch of the Emirates D10. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Organisers of the first domestic T10 tournament hope a total of more than two million viewers will tune in to live broadcasts of the new competition.

The Emirates D10 is scheduled to start on Friday July 24, as the sport continues its return after the coronavirus lockdown.

Although individual councils have streamed their competitions in the past, it will be the first time the game’s governing body here have aired one of their own domestic events.

The move comes as a result of a new, three-year deal which sees ITW Consultants become the Emirates Cricket Board’s official commercial partners.

The tournament will feature five teams representing the country's respective cricket councils.

Also included will be an Emirates Blues select XI, comprising many UAE team regulars and led by Ahmed Raza, the national team captain.

With 34 matches in the tournament, lasting until Friday August 7, the organisers hope it will be viewed far and wide.

Vivek Chandra, director and head of business for ITW Middle East, cited a recent tournament aired on Cricket Gateway, the platform which will show the Emirates D10, as having six million views over a two-week period.

He is hoping for “one-third of the viewership of a usual cricket tournament in this region,” which he equates to “two to two and a half million views”.

“For the past three months there has been a lack of live cricket globally, with England and West Indies just starting their [series] a few days back,” Chandra said.

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“We thought it was the right time. We are taking this cricket to everywhere you can imagine. On a digital platform, this will be live and accessible across the globe.

“The idea was to create this tournament commercially, which can become a platform for domestic cricket to thrive in this part of the world.”

Mubashshir Usmani, the ECB general secretary, is urging friends and family of those involved to take up the opportunity to watch the games online, rather than go along in person.

“We want to make the tournament spectator-free, so only involving the concerned people in the teams," Usmani said.

“We do not want spectators at the ground because of the pandemic.

"It will be livestreamed, and that is the best way to watch at the moment, to socially distance and watch from home.

“Covid is something that has affected lots of people around the world, and ECB is not spare of it.

"We are just trying to make the best of it as we possibly can. This is the start of something better.”

Updated: July 19, 2020 07:04 PM

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