AB de Villiers could play in 2017 T10 Cricket League
What's the story?
The first edition of the recently-launched T10 Cricket League (TCL) has been advanced by a week. Parvez Khan, one of the board members of the tournament, stated that the change in scheduling was made to avoid clashes with other matches and consequently aim at maximising the player pool.
He also revealed that the organisers of the league are currently in talks with South African icon AB de Villiers, in addition to a few big names from Australia, to participate in the inaugural season.
"The dates were clashing with the Big Bash League (BBL) and also with Pakistan’s tour of New Zealand. So, their players would not have been available. That’s why we thought of changing it. PCB suggested to look into the possibility of shifting the dates. This will help us have a better player pool," Parvez told Sportstar.
Eager to sign up a few modern-day superstars, the board member added that they are trying to get AB de Villiers for the league. There will be a gap between the TCL and Big Bash, so even Aussie players might be available to participate.
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The TCL is latest in the long list of franchise-based tournaments. However, unlike the other leagues, each match will be played with just 10 overs per side and is likely to last around 90 minutes.
The heart of the matter
The first edition of the TCL will see the likes of Chris Gayle, Virender Sehwag, Shahid Afridi, and Kumar Sangakkara participate. The flamboyant quartet have also been signed as the brand ambassadors for the event. All matches will be held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the UAE.
While the inaugural season was initially slated to run from December 21 to 24, the revamped schedule will see the tournament happen between December 14 and 17. The various franchises are hopeful that de Villiers, as well as several members of the current Pakistani and Australian teams, will be up for grabs.
AB de Villiers is set to participate in the two-match T20I series against Bangladesh on October 26 and 29 at the Mangaung Oval and Senwes Park respectively. With the proposed T20 Global League failing to take off, plenty of high-profile South African players remain free until the four-day Boxing Day Test against Zimbabwe.
While the 2017-18 BBL season is scheduled to begin on December 19, Pakistan's tour of New Zealand will take place in January.
With several members of the current Pakistani team likely to join the former greats from different nations, the first TCL edition should begin with considerable fanfare. If the organisers of the tournament land a major coup by signing someone of the stature of de Villiers, the inaugural season could be a huge hit with the masses.