Eoin Morgan is relishing the prospect of starring in the first-ever T10 Cricket League, to be held in Sharjah between December 21-24 this year.
This latest bitesize version of the game will feature plenty of iconic names, with Morgan turning out for Kerala Kings and the likes of Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq and Kumar Sangakkara all set to play.
"I'm extremely excited about it, the new concept of capturing peoples' imaginations in 90 minutes in the space of 10 overs really does test our sport to the limit," the 31-year-old, who captains England's one-day and T20 sides, told Sport360° on Tuesday night at the event's launch in Downtown Dubai.
"It encourages growing the game outside of the three main formats which is obviously huge and the love for the game over this side of the world is emphatic."
Our in-depth interview with Eoin Morgan will feature shortly on Sport360.com.
The United Arab Emirates will introduce a new cricket format when big hitters Shahid Afridi of Pakistan, India’s Virender Sehwag, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and England’s Eoin Morgan feature in a T-10 league in December.
The ten-over-a-side matches will spread over 90 minutes (45 minute each side) in Sharjah, the details of which were announced here on Tuesday.
Twenty20 cricket was introduced in England in 2003 while the first international Twenty20 match was held between Australia and New Zealand at Auckland in February 2005.
Since then the shortest format – the other two are five-day Tests and 50-over internationals – has become the most popular amongst the fans around the world.
The league’s president Salman Iqbal hoped the idea will kick off.
“Everyone has played T-10 cricket on the streets and this will give more fire to cricket and will be a big step forward and people will definitely enjoy it,” said Iqbal.
— Sport360° (@Sport360) October 3, 2017
The tournament will be as swift as the format, lasting just four days from 21-24 December with former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan also featuring.
Afridi, who retired from international cricket last year said he was thrilled at the idea.
“When I was told of the idea I was thrilled and requested that I want to play,” said Afridi, famous as Boom Boom for his big hitting.
England’s current one-day and Twenty20 captain Morgan was confident that T-10 cricket will have an impact.
“The whole concept is exciting,” said Morgan. “We all remember when the first time Twenty20 cricket was played and since then it (twenty20) has impacted the other formats.
“If this new idea takes off then I am sure it will also impact the other forms of the game.”
The four teams will be selected through a drafts later this month.
Misbah said the new formats will be easy for ageing players as well.
“Its an exciting idea and a good thing for players like me,” said 43-year-old Misbah who retired in May this year. “It will need just ten overs of batting and then fielding and at this age I can afford that.”
In the end, Australia finished their Indoor Cricket World Cup campaign exactly how they started it – as world champions.
The Aussies made the 14-hour flight to Dubai as the team everyone had to beat, having won every single edition of the tournament since its inception.
Before a ball was even bowled at InSportz Club, the men’s side clinched nine titles since 1995, while their female counterparts tasted global success eight straight times when the competition was launched in 1998.
Their youths are also on the same page with their Under-21s triumphing in all five finals in both the male and female’s categories.
So, having dominated the indoor format, it was no surprise to see them to take a clean sweep in all four categories yesterday.
In the women’s showdown, Australia proved to be too strong for South Africa, who were featuring in their sixth final.
Having scored 121 inspired by high scores of 22 from Krystal Oppermann and Briony Polkinghorne, the defending champs were even better with the bowling.
After getting two run-outs in the first two balls, South Africa never really recovered as they fell way short of their target with 52. Oppermann, Laura Shaw and Nicole Martin took three wickets each.
— Denzil M Pinto (@denz_360) September 23, 2017
For triumphant skipper Jude Coleman, it was her seventh World Cup success.
“It makes me feel old,” joked Coleman, 36. “They are all different and all special. Every one is with a new group of players and this one we had a lot of new players, to share that with them is always special and to win it is even better.”
It wasn’t long before the Australians were celebrating again as the men’s counterparts followed suit.
Facing old foes New Zealand, whose side included former international Jesse Ryder, they got a first hand view of the Haka for the first time in Dubai.
Yet, that didn’t distract their focus. With strong support, with the rest of the triumphant Australian sides watching in the crowd, the men did not disappoint by scoring 94 runs in their 16 overs.
Jay Otto led the way with 20 runs, while Matthew Floros hit 15.
New Zealand’s innings did not get off to the best start after finding themselves at -8 early in the first skin. But despite showing signs of improvement, Australia were too dominant with Luke Ryan finishing with three wickets as New Zealand registered 48.
It was the 10th world title for the men’s side and while skipper Lyle Teske acknowledges their run will one day come to an end, he wants the team to remain dominant.
“It’s inevitable isn’t it,” he said. “We’re going to have to lose one eventually and I’ve never seen a sporting team with this record ever. We’ll keep going and doing enough and that’s what we’ve been doing for the last few years.
“They are all good sweet victories. New Zealand are a tough opposition and if you don’t turn up on the day, they’ll come and topple you on the day.”
The men’s triumph completed a memorable day for the Aussies after their Under-21 sides retained their titles with victories over New Zealand. Their men’s side won 68-66, while their women’s side came out on top, winning 92-54.