Cobras set sights on Dubai trip

The top Twenty20 sides from South Africa and England will face off in next month's Emirates Airline Twenty20 tournament.

DUBAI // The top Twenty20 sides from South Africa and England will face off after the Cape Cobras confirmed they will play in next month's Emirates Airline Twenty20 tournament. The Cobras, semi-finalists at last year's Champions League, will bring a squad mixed with youth and experience as they take on the Sussex Sharks, Surrey Lions and a Fly Emirates XI. "We are very excited to be coming to Dubai and for our players to be able to test themselves against England's No 1 Twenty20 side makes it extra special," said Andre Odendaal, Cobras chief executive.

"This tournament is another small step in the rapid globalisation of domestic cricket following the successful Indian Premier League revolution." The South African team, who are coached by the former international spinner Omar Henry, have produced international players such as Jacques Kallis, Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs. "Having played the Rajasthan Royals in a one-off 'Clash of the Champions' and reached the semi-finals in the first Champions League tournament in India, our franchise is keen to widen its horizons further and give exposure to our young talent," Odendaal said.

"This is part of developing top talent in our region and the Emerging Cape Cobras are going to Dubai with the aim of learning and winning." Sussex, meanwhile, will bring over a squad that includes the England internationals Luke Wright, Ed Joyce and James Kirtley. The Sharks are the England Twenty20 and NatWest Pro40 champions. The England contingent of Mark Ramprakash, Chris Tremlett and Steven Davies are expected to play for the Surrey Lions, who make up the four-team line-up along with a Fly Emirates XI comprised of staff of the Emirates Group.

The competition will be played at The Sevens on March 19-20.