Indian conglomerate Heera Group has signed on as title sponsor of the T10 Cricket League, a new franchise-based competition that is set to launch in the United Arab Emirates next week.
The TCL will run from December 14-17 and features games of 10-overs-per-side that are designed to last no longer than 90 minutes.
Dr Nowhera Shaik, founder and chief executive of the Hyderabad-based Heera Group, said, according to the Khaleej Times newspaper: “As a business group we have always backed innovative ideas. That has been a hallmark of our approach to business. So when this concept came along, I was keen that we got associated with it, as we ourselves come from the land where cricket is followed passionately.”
The TCL is being staged by the Emirates Cricket Board and has been sanctioned by the International Cricket Council. It will feature six franchises in the shape of Punjabi Legends, Pakhtoons, Maratha Arabians, Bengal Lions, Team Sri Lanka Cricket and Kerala Kings.
Pakistan’s Sarfraz Ahmed, Shahid Afridi (pictured) and Shoaib Malik; along with England’s limited overs captain Eoin Morgan, India’s Virender Sehwag and Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Chandimal, have been selected to lead the respective teams.
Shaji-ul-Mulk, head of the TCL, said: “Since the advent of Twenty20 cricket, I always felt that there could be something else that our sport can offer the world. It was then that I sat down to discuss with my team. We came up with the thought that cricket needs to match the best sporting action in the world. Most of these sports last no more than 90 minutes.
“We need to evolve with times and nothing should signify this better than giving a product to the fans that they can relate with.”