As the first ever high-profile league in this format kicks off on December 14, Paul Radley looks at 10 players he thinks will be the most exciting to watch at Sharjah
T10 Cricket League: 10 players to watch in the UAE over the next week
1 Carlos Brathwaite (Punjabi Legends)
This is a step into the unknown for everyone, of course. But presumably a 10-over match will maximise the importance of six-hitting even more than Twenty20 already does. In which case, somebody who can hit 24 from four balls with a world title on the line could be very valuable indeed.
2 Mohammed Amir (Maratha Arabians)
The first pick at the T10 Cricket League draft, a decision driven largely by the influence of Wasim Akram, Maratha Arabians’ team mentor. The fast bowler may have been wicket-shy for Pakistan of late, but his T20 economy rate in power play overs has been outstanding over the past two years.
3 Virender Sehwag (Maratha Arabians)
A quirky selection this, seeing as Sehwag is a long-time retired. Officially, he hung up his boots in order to be eligible for the Masters Champions League in the UAE last year. He was masterful in that competition, as the Gemini Arabians won out, but he has not taken the field in serious cricket since.
4 Fakhar Zaman (Pakhtoons)
Another first-round draft pick, the left-handed opener is arguably Pakistan’s most exciting batsman at present. Zaman first rose to prominence in the UAE with Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League. He will not waste much time getting after bowlers in the new format.
5 Sarfraz Ahmed (Bengal Tigers)
It has been some while now since Sarfraz scored any runs of note. That said, his exemplary captaincy has meant he has hardly been required as Pakistan have cut a swathe through international limited-overs cricket. Whatever he does at present seems to turn to gold, which bodes well for Bengal Tigers.
T10 Cricket League 2017: All you need to know about the December tournament in Sharjah
Shareef Asadullah: Pakistani hopes T10 Cricket League selection will lead to UAE recall
Rohan Mustafa: UAE captain thrilled to be on same TCL team as Eoin Morgan
6 Eoin Morgan (Kerala Kings)
Once of four active international captains playing in the first T10 Cricket League – the others being Sarfraz, Dinesh Chandimal and Rohan Mustafa. Quite what value he will derive from 10-over cricket remains to be seen, but Morgan will want to get his eye in ahead of England’s ODI series in Australia.
7 Mohammed Naveed (Bengal Tigers)
The fast bowler has for ages been craving the sort of limelight that UAE cricket rarely affords. The T10 Cricket League will provide him with the biggest stage since the national team played at the Asia Cup T20 in Bangladesh last year. He excelled there, and is keen to do so again in Sharjah.
8 David Miller (Bengal Tigers)
Only recruited on Sunday, after a last-minute availability crisis for Bengal Tigers saw them deprived of each of their first two draft picks, Sunil Narine and Mustafizur Rahman. Miller is no like-for-like replacement for those two bowlers. A big-hitting South African batsman, he is a T20 star.
9 Paul Stirling (Kerala Kings)
The burly Irish opener rarely needs any time to play himself in in whatever format he is playing. As such he is one player who will perfectly fit one of the slogans that T10 cricket’s social media team are hoping will catch. Namely, that Every Ball Counts.
10 Umar Gul (Pakhtoon)
The Pakhtoons squad feels a little like a rehab clinic for Pakistan pace bowlers. Each of Junaid Khan, Sohail Khan, and Mohammed Irfan have vied for places in the Pakistan attack in recent years. Umar Gul has been even more rarely spotted in that time. Let’s hope he can roll back the years in the new format.