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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

Sri Lanka give green light to players taking part in UAE T20x

Players such as Lasith Malinga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, and Ajantha Mendis all now in contention to be selected

Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga, right, and Thisara Perera tare both eligible for the UAE T20x. AP Photo
Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga, right, and Thisara Perera tare both eligible for the UAE T20x. AP Photo

Sri Lanka's cricket board have become the latest to give the green light to their players participating in the inaugural UAE T20x.

Players such as Lasith Malinga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Ajantha Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Upul Tharanga, Thisara Perera, and Rangana Herath will now be available to the five franchises involved in the competition to choose from.

Kumar Sangakkara, who is one of the league's icon players, welcomed the news.

He said: “I am delighted that the Sri Lankan cricket board has granted its players the permission and encouragement to participate in what promises to be an incredible tournament.

"This displays that Sri Lanka cricket understands the benefits that the UAE T20x can bring to the sport in our country, with youngsters learning and playing with the best names in international cricket. It is also a great chance for the world to watch some exciting Sri Lankan cricketers and legendary coaches."

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Sri Lanka have followed in the footsteps of the cricket boards of the West Indies, England, South Africa, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland in allowing their players to be eligible to be selected, along with 16 other associate member nations.

More than 500 players are in contention for the 80 places that will be available for the competition.

Each franchise will have a squad of 16 players. 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.

Salman Sarwar Butt, the chief executive of UAE T20x said: “Sri Lanka Cricket’s support towards the UAE T20x means that yet another full member nation has recognised the importance of the league. It is indeed great to see such support from the global cricket community.

"The UAE T20x constantly strives to enhance diversity and seeks to attract fans and partners from all over the world. Considering this, it is very promising to know that we now have 24 cricket boards understanding the value of our league, which aims to nurture domestic talent and grow the game globally."

The UAE T20x will take place from 19 December to 11 January in Dubai and Sharjah in a 22-match format to be played over 24 days.