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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Organisers says UAE T20x will be one of 'most internationally-representative T20 competitions in the world'

More than 500 players register for new 20-over competition to be held in the Emirates in December

South African cricketer AB de Villiers is one of the biggest names signed up for the UAE T20x. Courtesy UAE T20x
South African cricketer AB de Villiers is one of the biggest names signed up for the UAE T20x. Courtesy UAE T20x

The organisers of the UAE T20x say they expect their tournament to be among the “most internationally-representative T20 competitions in the world”, after more than 500 players registered an intent to play.

The list of aspiring players includes 30 from the UAE, as well as players from as diverse cricket countries as Italy, Germany and Japan.

The new 20-over competition will have five franchises, with 16 players per squad. Six of those will be international players from the game’s 12-nation Test elite.

Three will be from UAE, three from other non-Test countries, plus four more junior and emerging players from the Test sphere.

The best-known players will be recruited via auction, with a US$275,000 (Dh1 million) ceiling for bids, to held on November 19 in Dubai. The Associate players will be assigned to sides via a draft process.

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The competition is due to start a month later, on the same day the Big Bash League will be beginning in Australia.

Steve Smith, the former Australia captain, is perhaps the most high-profile name in the list of players to be auctioned.

England has the most players in the long-list, with 113 registering an interest to play, including the likes of Johnny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Jason Roy, and Alex Hales.

Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine, and Kieron Pollard are among 51 players from West Indies, while Qais Ahmed, the leg-spinner who was man of the match in the Afghanistan Premier League final, is among several Afghan players signed up.

The organisers believe one major point of difference the UAE T20x will provide will be the opportunities available to players from non-Test nations. There are 125 players from the Associate sphere who have signalled the desire to be included.

“Without a doubt, this is one of the most internationally-representative T20 competitions in the world, providing opportunities for players from all around the globe,” Salman Sarwar Butt, the chief executive of UAE T20x, said.

“Whilst we are delighted to have signed on some of the most iconic and admired names in the sport, we are equally excited to see the interest shown by players from Associate Member countries.

“This level of international inclusivity will benefit the sport as a whole and is perfectly suited to deliver some exhilarating performances this December.”

The tournament will involve 22 matches, played over 24 days in Dubai and Sharjah, from December 19 till January 11.