Big stars back plans for UAE T10 league to go global

Bravo and Faulkner are both predicting big things for the new short-form of cricket. (AFP)
Updated 30 November 2018
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Big stars back plans for UAE T10 league to go global

  • T10 chairman Shaji Ul-Mulk has grand designs to take T10 to the US.
  • Former Test stars say players are enjoying the new form of the game in the UAE.

LONDON: Dwayne Bravo and James Faulkner are confident that the T10 cricket league based in the UAE can become a big hit with fans around the globe.
Earlier this week the format’s organizers told ESPNcricinfo of their plans to expand the nascent short form of the game — its second season is currently taking place in the Emirates — with chairman Shaji Ul-Mulk confirming that he is in talks with three international cricket boards with a view to exporting T10 from its current base in the Gulf.
He told ESPNcricinfo that he sees great potential for the game in, among other countries, the US.
“The US market is great, the UK market is excellent for cricket, and South Africa, too, for that matter. With T10 the way it is, with 90 minutes (of) cricket, (it) actually opens up new markets that cricket doesn’t have now.
“For us, the US is one of those big markets where we feel that we can reconnect cricket there. Cricket can have a strong place in the US, which it doesn’t have at the moment.”
That grand plan has been given a big thumbs-up by two of the T10 leagues current stars who claim cricket’s shortest format could go the way of its older brother, Twenty20, which was treated with skepticism when it was created 15 years ago. Since then T20 has grown into the sport’s biggest, most popular format, selling out grounds around the world with cash-rich leagues such as the Indian Premier League and Australia’s Big Bash.
“I think it will grow. I think other countries and leagues around the world will buy into it because it’s just like T20 cricket,” said West India international Bravo, who has played both T10 editions for the Maratha Arabians. “No-one really trusted T20 when it first came about and it’s the hottest topic now. T10 has the potential to do the same. I think it’s just a matter of time before it reaches different countries around the world.”
His teammate, Australian all-rounder James Faulkner, said that the players currently smashing sixes and bowling bouncers in the second T10 league — big names such as Chris Gayle, Eion Morgan and Zaheer Khan — are already fans of the new format.
“It’ll be interesting to see where it is in three years,” he told ESPNcricinfo. “I think it’s going to take off, that’s my personal opinion on it. Speaking to other players I think it will. It’s short, it’s exciting for the fans and the players as well. I think you’ll see it developing all around the world pretty soon, pretty quickly.”
What will doubtless be music to the ears of Ul-Mulk is that Faulkner expects T10 leagues to pop up around the globe.
“I think that’s where it will go,” the Australian said when asked whether the game would go global.
“Players obviously love the format so far and also the spectators as well,” he said. “You want something quick like T20 that fans can come and watch. With T10, you can play a couple of double-headers like we have here and really engage the crowds, and also four different teams and their fans as well.
“I wouldn’t be surprised (if T10 became an international sport). I don’t think it’s going to happen 
too quickly but I think you’ll see other leagues in the next couple 
of years. I think we’re all 
interested to see where it is in five, 10 or 15 years.”


Jurgen Klopp calls on Mohamed Salah to fire Liverpool into Champions League second round against Napoli

Updated 2 min 55 sec ago
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Jurgen Klopp calls on Mohamed Salah to fire Liverpool into Champions League second round against Napoli

LONDON: Jurgen Klopp has called on Mohamed Salah to maintain his current fine form and fire Liverpool into the knockout stages of the Champions League.
By his own high standards the Egyptian ace had a slow start to the season. Coming off the back of his record-breaking campaign last time around — when he scored 44 goals for the Merseyside club in all competitions — Salah had been quiet in comparison, scoring seven times in the Premier League up until Saturday’s 4-0 win
at Bournemouth.
But a brilliant hat-trick against the Cherries kicked into touch any worries that he would struggle to hit the same heights again, and Klopp is only too aware his return to form comes at the perfect time with Liverpool who must beat Napoli tonight to make the Champions League knockout stages.
The Reds cannot afford defeat against the Italians, and know that even a 2-1 win could see them eliminated.
The Liverpool manager said that he was never worried the Egyptian would struggle to find the form of last season and has called on Salah to find his scoring boots once again to help ensure his side see off the Italians.
“I’m interested in the moment, but I never judge it because the moment is just a little part of all what we do,” Klopp said. “So I was not for one second worried.
“If you score 10 goals in the first five games, everyone would say: ‘It will happen again.’ But if you score 39 (in a season), it would be: ‘Yeah, but it’s not 41.’
“What Mo did (against Bournemouth) was just exceptional. I don’t know at the moment a lot of players who would have scored these goals.”
The hat-trick against Bourne-mouth took Salah’s tally to 10 Premier League strikes this season as he also became the fastest Liverpool player to reach 40 goals in the competition after he reached the milestone in his 52nd match.
The Merseyside club, who were beaten by Real Madrid in the final last season, could do with another Salah masterclass — they need either a 1-0 victory or to win by two clear goals to progress to the last 16.
“We have the chance with a specific result still to go through when this Champions League campaign so far was not really ours,” Klopp said.
“We have to be on our toes — it’s a big one, our people know that and I know they are already warming up.”
Liverpool’s Champions League campaign has never really got going this season. An impressive 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the first match promised much better than to be going into the final clash knowing that even victory may not be enough. Defeats away at Napoli (1-0) and, surprisingly, Red Star Belgrade (2-0) dented any hope of quick qualification from one of the tougher groups.
A 2-1 defeat to PSG in the French capital last time out has left the group and Liverpool’s participation in the second round on a knife edge.
“We were not good at Napoli, so first of all we would like to show we are better than that,” said Klopp. “So we also have to call again on Anfield, and they should help us because that is a massive game, a really massive game.
“Last year we did nearly everything to get qualified for that tournament again, because we had the final in the background but we also knew we had to do the job in the league.”
But with Salah scoring and playing the clash at home, Klopp is hopeful Liverpool can get the result needed. “They know as well it will be tough, but they are strong and we need to be very strong,” the German said.