Dubai: The second edition of the T10 League, to be held over November and December in the UAE, received a thumbs up from some of the past greats of the game like Wasim Akram, Daniel Vettori, Darren Sammy, Dean Jones and Robin Singh — who are associated in different capacities with the teams. The Players’ Draft was conducted at the V Hotel in Al Habtoor City till late evening on Monday.
Asked about the future of T10, Akram said: “I was there last time in Sharjah and the stadium was full for four days. It was a different ballgame, it was so quick there was no time to even breath as a batsman or even think. This is one of those formats where bowlers can get paid to get hit. It is fun.”
Akram, who played the role of mentor and coach of the Maratha Arabians and is also now the director of the T10 Leagues Talent Hunt programme in Pakistan, feel T10 is the future. “I feel shorter format in cricket is the future and T10 is the answer for it.”
Former Australian great Jones, who is the coach of the Pakthoons team, was asked whether five-over tournaments will be the next in-thing. “I don’t think it will get any lower. In a way, I am starting to think that bowlers are going to get smarter in cricket. So far batsmen only used to get ahead of the bowlers. The best offensive teams in T20 teams win in also 50-over cricket, so I think the same will be in T10 cricket. You need to field and take the right catches. This might be the format that will do well in the United States and Canada. I am hoping T10 could be the right format for even the Olympics, ” he said.
Sammy, the icon player of Northern Warriors team, loves the T10 format. “It is entertaining and cricket should be entertaining. Earlier it was T20 that brought in entertainment. This format is another opportunity to bring more fans into the game. It is hard on the bowlers but it brings a lot of excitement to the fans. Fans come to watch and get entertained and hopefully it will bring more new fans into the game.”
Robin Singh, coach of the Northern Warriors, said: “Last year I was involved with the champion team. It was very different. The first thing I thought when T20 came is that it will get more runs. Teams were scoring over 200 runs and with this format, runs are scored even faster.”
Will Vettori, who will coach the defending champions Kerala Kings, find it difficult to motivate a spinner to excel in this format? “I think I was asked such a question before T20 began. If you look through the record books spinners have been very successful. Every ball someone is going to attack you and one has to work their way out and think differently. Spinners are a danger in T20 and hence will be T10 too. It increases the intensity of the planning. You can translate the experiences from T20 into this format.”