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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

When is the T10 League and what is new for Season 2? Everything you need to know about the Sharjah-based tournament

Paul Radley provides a complete guide to the upcoming tournament, including a list of confirmed star players, team lists, and UAE involvement

Eoin Morgan, right, returns to lead defending champions Kerala Kings in Season 2 of the T10 League. Getty Images
Eoin Morgan, right, returns to lead defending champions Kerala Kings in Season 2 of the T10 League. Getty Images

What is the T10 League?

The T10 League returns to Sharjah Cricket Stadium from November 23 to December 2, 2018.

The league, a privately-run venture endorsed by Emirates Cricket Board and the International Cricket Council, has been expanded for the second season. It is up from six teams in its debut campaign in 2017 to eight this time around.

Matches are 10 overs per side, and last for a little over 90 minutes each. The teams will be split into groups, ahead of a knock out stage and then final.

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Read more:

T10 League set to expand despite president's resignation and alleged investigation

Ehsan Mani: Pakistan want assurances before releasing players for T10 League

Kerala Kings snap up Chris Gayle in T10 League draft as organisers rubbish rumours

T10 League team of the tournament: Afridi in even as Kerala Kings dominate Season 1's best XI

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How to watch it on TV:

The competition will be broadcast live in the UAE on Ten Cricket.

Tickets

Admission starts at Dh10, and tickets are on sale online here. There is also an “early bird” discount of 25 per cent.

Who is playing?

Many of the game’s leading short-format players are involved. Twenty20 globetrotters like Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Sunil Narine and Rashid Khan are standout names.

England captain Eoin Morgan led Kerala Kings to the first title last year and should be back again, while Darren Sammy, who won the World T20 twice as captain of West Indies, is also playing.

Sarfraz Ahmed was Bengal Tigers captain last time. But the T10 clashes with Pakistan’s Test series with New Zealand, so he will miss out this time.

The teams:

Kerala Kings

Defending champions

Coach: Daniel Vettori

Leading players: Chris Gayle, Eoin Morgan, Paul Stirling

Maratha Arabian

Coach: Wasim Akram

Leading players: Rashid Khan, Alex Hales, Lasith Malinga

Pakhtoons

Coach: Dean Jones

Leading players: Shahid Afridi, Colin Munro, David Willey

Punjabi Legends

Coach: Mushtaq Ahmed

Leading players: Shoaib Malik, Hasan Ali, Luke Ronchi

Karachians

Coach: Tom Moody

Leading players: Shane Watson, Jofra Archer, Mohammed Irfan

Bengal Tigers

Coach: Stephen Fleming

Leading players: Sunil Narine, Jason Roy, Morne Morkel

Northern Warriors

Coach: Robin Singh

Leading players: Darren Sammy, Rovman Powell, Wahab Riaz

Rajputs

Coach: Herschelle Gibbs

Leading players: Mohammed Shahzad, Chris Lynn, Brendon McCullum

The big news

Last year’s T10 League was well-populated by star-name Pakistan players. Their presence in the second edition seemed highly doubtful when Salman Iqbal, the president and co-owner of the leave, quit in September.

In giving up his role, the media mogul, who also owns the Karachi Kings franchise in the Pakistan Super League, questioned the T10 competition’s integrity, and warned Pakistan players to avoid it.

The new regime at the Pakistan Cricket Board responded by putting a block on their players being involved, until they had more information.

However, it was announced at the end of October that Pakistan players would be given no-objection certificates by the PCB, freeing the likes of limited-overs specialists Shoaib Malik to play.

However, Pakistan will play their second Test against New Zealand in Dubai on November 24, so Test players like Sarfraz will not be involved in the 10-over league.

More Indians

Last year, Virender Sehwag was the lone Indian involved. This time around, there will be eight. They might not be the big-name, established stars of the current day, which all leagues crave to have involved.

But there is a little bit of stardust, in particular in the form of Zaheer Khan, the former left-arm pace-bowler who was a World Cup-winner with India in 2011. Fellow former Test players Praveen Kumar and RP Singh are also set to play.

“The growing desire by senior Indian cricketers to play in the T10 League reflects the increasing popularity of the game,” Shaji Ul Mulk, the chairman of T10 League, said.

New players to look out for

The T10 League will provide an opportunity to see some players who thrive beyond international cricket’s mainstream.

Hazratullah Zazai (Afghanistan, Maratha Arabians)

Earned a slice of history, as well as global fame, when he hit six sixes in an over in the Afghanistan Premier League in Sharjah.

Benny Howell (England, Kerala Kings)

A seam bowler with a variety of slower balls who is regularly among the thriftiest in English county cricket’s T20 Blast.

Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal, Kerala Kings)

The leg-spinner is currently on a global grand tour that might take in as many as 10 limited-overs leagues – including three in UAE.

Ali Khan (United States, Bengal Tigers)

The pace bowler was one of the leading wicket-takers in the Caribbean Premier League, and also came to Sharjah for the APL.

Qais Ahmed (Afghanistan, Rajputs)

The teenage legspinner was man of the match in the APL final, where he bowled Balkh Legends to the inaugural title.

UAE involvement

Part of the remit for the competition is to have representation from the host country.

In Season 1, two players per 16-man squad had to be from UAE, with one place in each starting XI reserved for one of them.

The same is likely to apply in Season 2, although the national team players have yet to be assigned to teams and the process has altered.

The organisers are attempting to increase the pool of players available to the UAE by running dual talent hunts in India and Pakistan. The successful applicants will be offered three-year contracts to work in the companies run by the competition’s owners, with a place in the national team a possibility after three years of residency.