After the continuous success of the most popular T20 franchise league, Indian Premier League (IPL), United Arab Emirates (UAE) is now set to have its own T20 league starting this December. The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) announced that are launching an IPL-type franchise-based T20 league, brainchild by a powerful minister of the UAE government and ECB chairman Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.
“The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is pleased to announce that UAE’s own exclusive T20 League has been sanctioned by ECB chairman Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan to Dubai Sports City and will soon be held in the UAE. The dates being considered are December 2021 and January 2022,” the ECB said in a statement. Currently, the IPL 2021 timetable is yet to be released by the Indian Board.
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The ECB said that the UAE’s league will follow the same blueprint of successful franchise leagues around the world like the IPL, Pakistan Super League (PSL), Australian Big Bash (BBL), Caribbean Premier League (CPL), and many others. UAE has previously hosted T20 leagues. In 2014, the first half of the IPL was held in the country and the entire season of the cash-rich league was played in UAE in 2020.
“Like all other successful global league models, the T20 league in the UAE will be franchise based which will attract major international cricketers. Modalities of the League are being finalized,” the statement further read. “We will complete the process of ownership with-in a month”, confirmed ECB official. UAE recently hosted the fourth season of the T10 League as well.
“We are delighted with the launch of our own T20 League, one we believe will enhance the growth and popularity of cricket being played in the UAE. We also envisage that UAE-based players will continue to flourish through such opportunities as they continue to make their mark on the international stage,” said Dr. Tayeb Kamali, ECB board member and selection committee chairman of the ECB.
The 2020 edition of the IPL was held entirely in the UAE due to the COVId-19 situation in India. Mumbai Indians have successfully defended their IPL title and clinched their fifth trophy after thrashing Delhi Capitals by five wickets in the final in Dubai. Brilliant hostile bowling led by Trent Boult took MI to victory, now the most successful team in IPL history.
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