The latest nation to make the headlines in T10 cricket is Qatar as the Qatar T10 League took off on Saturday. All matches of the tournament that will conclude on December 16 are being played at the West End Park International Cricket Stadium, Doha. The tournament has caught eyes for the unique names of the six participating teams that include: Heat Stormers, Swift Gallopers, Falcon Hunters, Flying Oryx and Desert Riders. None of the names has any geographical identity.
In the first game, Oryx beat Gladiators by nine wickets to have a flying start. However, the tournament is yet to see the entire contingent of international players arriving to play even after two days. Thanks to the delay in the arrival of no-objection certificates and visas, the overseas players were late to arrive in Doha.
Former Zimbabwe international Sikandar Raza was also among those who faced the issue. While some players still reached for the tournament on Sunday, many were yet to arrive on Monday — the third day of the competition.
Qatar is excited to have organised the tournament
However, Qatari cricket authorities were elated to have organised the tournament. “Qatar is proud to have been assigned this league by ICC. This will take our country to an international sports arena,” Youssef J Al Kuwari, President of the Qatar Cricket Association was quoted as saying by The Cricketer after the International Cricket Council gave its nod to the competition.
Sajjad Chaudhry, chief executive of International Pro Event, the company that runs the competition, said: “We planned and executed everything within 20 days. This year, we’re treating it as the stepping stone. There have been many challenges, but we worked our way through. In near future, the world will see and admire our cricket hosting capabilities.”
Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, who is still a force in T20 cricket, was named the tournament’s brand ambassador, though he is not playing for any of the participating sides. There was also speculation that big names like Yuvraj Singh would also be a part of the Qatar T10 League. Former international players like Hashim Amla and Ajantha Mendis have been roped in for the competition.
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