Virender Sehwag and Kumar Sangakkara to play under coach Wasim Akram in T10 Cricket League
Meanwhile, Sarfraz Ahmed will lead Bengal Tigers in the star-studded tournament.
What's the story?
Legendary Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram has been roped in as mentor as well as head coach of Maratha Arabians for the inaugural edition of the newly launched T10 Cricket League (TCL). Batting stalwart Virender Sehwag will captain the star-studded Arabians lineup which also comprises of accomplished names like Kumar Sangakkara and in-form players such as Fakhar Zaman.
"We are delighted to have Akram as our team’s mentor and coach. There is no one better than Akram who knows the Sharjah stadium conditions best as he has produced some of his splendid bowling spells there. His knowledge will be of great help to everyone in the team", Arabians owner Parvez Khan told Gulf News.
When asked about the prospect of uniting an Indian captain and Pakistan coach, Khan quipped, "Akram has been the coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders and hence this role will be nothing new for him. Akram has helped many Indian pacers in the past, will do the same with Maratha Arabians players from the different countries. Akram’s presence will also convey the message of peace between India and Pakistan."
Featuring six teams representing the varied ethnicity prevalent in the Indian subcontinent, the first season of TCL will be played at the fabled Sharjah Cricket Stadium from December 14 to 17.
The heart of the matter
Apart from the Arabians, the other five franchises have been christened as Bengal Tigers, Punjabi Legends, Pakhtoons, Kerala Kings and Colombo Lions. Bengal Tigers have landed a major coup by securing the services of current Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed. The wicket-keeper batsman will captain the franchise even as fellow countryman Waqar Younis serves as head coach.
As the name indicates, the T10 Cricket League will be a tournament based on brevity. Each game will contain only ten overs per side and is slated to run for approximately 90 minutes. It was initially scheduled to run from December 21 to 24. However, in order to prevent a clash with various international series, the inaugural season was advanced by a week.
The players draft will take place in Dubai on November 5. Having won the rights during the recently held owners’ Pick Order Draw, the Arabians will make the first pick in the draft.
Considering their swashbuckling approach to batting, the 10-over format will suit the belligerence of Sehwag and the exuberance of Zaman. With experienced legends like Akram and Sangakkara also involved in the set-up, the Arabians could be one of the teams to watch out for when the first TCL season gets underway.