Yes, folks, it has come down to this, cricket's latest format has 10 overs a side that will wrap up in just about 90 minutes. T10 league promises to be an action-packed fiesta that is set for product testing. The tournament kicked off on December 14 and will continue till the 17th of this month at the historic Sharjah Cricket Stadium. It will be interesting to see how players acclimatise and figure the best strategy for T10 cricket.
This abridged version has raised concerns from cricket followers who wanted a line to be drawn after the advent of T20 format. Former PCB chairman, Shahryar Khan reckons T10 format is against the sanctity of cricket (he had a similar position when T20 was envisaged) while the rumour has it some PSL franchises have expressed their reservations with the T10 league. It is conjectured that it could potentially impact PSL popularity.
The tournament features some of the big names in world cricket with the likes of Shahid Afridi, M Amir, K Pollard, Carlos Braithwaite (remember the name?) David Miller, Eoin Morgan, the only Indian Virender Sehwag, and other seasoned shorter version specialists.
Eoin Morgan anticipates cricket's new experiment conducive to Olympics as well. That sounds conceivable with the brief nature of T10 cricket. Relatedly, Hongkong Sixes was tried in UAE as well comprising of five overs, but such was the volatile nature of the format that it didn't really took off and grabbed many sponsors. Also, it could accommodate just five players per team but T10 matches will have the usual 11 men teams competing against each other.
The president of the T10 league Salman Iqbal said, “This is the first year, and it is not a pilot project, six teams are signed for 10 years, and the second year will be bigger. We have come with a plan.”
We remember the resistance and reluctance when T20 emerged but it's a long gone memory and T20 has been fully incorporated into the system. It remains to be seen if this innovation gets the nod from spectators and become part of International cricket in the years to come.