The UAE had already established itself as a hub for international sport, both during and after the pandemic. Formula 1, UFC, FIFA Club World Cup, World Tennis League are just some of the major sporting events that have a strong connection to the UAE.
The Emirates are also at the forefront of one of the most lucrative products – the cricket franchise. The Indian Premier League has been held in the UAE several times, as has the Pakistan Super League, while T10 cricket developed here before becoming Abu Dhabi’s T10.
And now the UAE is going to have its own top-flight cricket franchise tournament: the International League T20.
The tournament will begin on January 13, which will mark the start of the UAE’s first T20 franchise league. A total of six teams will compete in 34 matches over a month.
Three of the six team owners are associated with the IPL – Knight Riders Group, GMR, and Mumbai Indians – bringing a wealth of franchise cricketing experience to the tournament.
West Indian batsman Evin Lewis, who will play for the Sharjah Warriors, is among many stars – such as Andre Russell, Moeen Ali and Alex Hales – who will take part in what is considered the second biggest T20 league after the IPL, in terms number of players, salaries and franchise pedigree.
Lewis, 30, has become a veteran of the T20 circuit, like many of his Caribbean teammates. He hopes to make a fresh start in 2023 after a disappointing outing at the T20 World Cup in Australia.
There, the West Indies, two-time champions, were eliminated in the opening phase and failed to qualify for the Super 12. For Lewis, the disappointment of the tournament did not last as he quickly returned to action at the Abu Dhabi T10 in November. The ILT20 is his next mission.
This constant flow of franchise cricket is a blessing for many players, who are able to quickly move on and focus on their game, instead of brooding over their disappointments.
» He [T20 World Cup] it’s something I want to forget. I don’t want to dwell too much on the past. It was my first time in Australia. I don’t want to blame myself too much,” Lewis told reporters. The National.
The left-handed batsman, who has completed two centuries in international T20s, believes franchise cricket offers players the chance to work on their game with more freedom and through better interactions with coaches and support staff.
» That helps. With the amount of cricket franchise we have today, sometimes you can be out of shape for a month or two. Just get back to cricket, get your form back and keep scoring.
“In terms of international cricket, there is more pressure. Franchise cricket is more relaxed. You get the most out of the coaches, the other players. Everything is much easier when playing franchise cricket. »
There’s already one bright spot awaiting Lewis when he plays for the Warriors – his home will be Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The Trinidad and Tobago batsman knows he will have the opportunity to play on some beautiful pitches during ILT20, and gain some confidence.
“It’s good to have your home base in Sharjah. The wicket is good and the field is not big. In fact, I can’t wait to be there. »
The rise of franchise cricket also means that players’ priorities and lifestyles have changed. Players strive to make themselves available for tournaments like Abu Dhabi T10, ILT20, PSL and IPL among others.
This makes the United Arab Emirates an ideal place to set up camp, making it easy to travel to cricket bases in the Emirates, the subcontinent and the United Kingdom.
« I did not give [setting up base in UAE] a thought. But now I will think about it. »
The ILT20 will take place in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, with the final taking place on February 12.
Passionnote by the sports, Julian adore partyiper to of the companditions and of the sports challenges. He enjoys writing about sports and has great knowledge on the sports locto the. He is holding allIbear to courtant of the ErnIeres news on the sports and is youres happy pWherevsee goager her passion haswith them anotherres to through his travgarlic.