The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) have confirmed that their new Twenty20 league, which will be launched in December, will be named the UAE T20x.
Details of the inaugural tournament, which will take place between December 19 and January 11, were confirmed on Wednesday.
There will be 22 matches played, involving five franchises, with the action spread between Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.
Zayed Abbas, an ECB board member, believes the league can help develop local talent, while showcasing international players.
“The number one aim of UAE T20x is to offer a developmental platform for the best young cricketers from around the world, and of course the UAE, to showcase their talent alongside the icons of the game,” he said in a statement.
“We want this new league to play its part in helping to grow the game.”
It has been announced that each of the 16-man squads will be made up of six international players, four emerging and junior players, three ICC Associate member players and three UAE players.
To date the Boards of seven ICC Test member nations have given their consent to their players taking part in the new league including: England & Wales, the West Indies, South Africa, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland, together with 12 ICC Associate Member nations.
Salman Sarwar Butt, the chief executive of the UAE T20x echoed the views of Abbas that mixing big names from the cricketing world with grassroots players can only help develop new superstars.
“No other T20 league provides a platform for up and coming talent to compete with – and learn from – so many iconic cricketers,” he said. “We believe that UAE T20x will give the stars of the future an invaluable experience, which they will take with them as they continue to develop their domestic and international game after the tournament.”
The UAE winter
Six different limited-overs cricket tournaments are scheduled to take place at UAE stadiums over the 2018/19 season, with the confirmation of the UAE T20x dates confirming a hectic winter of action is ahead.
Australia and New Zealand are also due to face Pakistan in bilateral series in Tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20 internationals.
This is what the schedule could look like.
- Sep 13-28: Asia Cup
- Oct 4-6: Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy
- Oct 5-23: Afghanistan Premier League
- Oct and Nov: Pakistan v Australia/New Zealand
- Dec: T10 League
- Dec 19-Jan 11 UAE T20x
- Feb-Mar: Pakistan Super League