The ICC says it will be increasingly hard for new, short-format leagues to get officially sanctioned in future, even though they believe such events have a value in promoting the sport.
The UAE will be host to five franchise competitions over the course of this season. The recently concluded Abu Dhabi T20, the ongoing Afghanistan Premier League, and the UAE T20x, which starts in December, are all new events.
The T10 League will start its second season in November, while a large part of the fourth season of the Pakistan Super League will be played in the UAE from February.
The game’s governing body are wary of the mushrooming of private-enterprise events around the world, according to Geoff Allardice, the general manager of cricket at the ICC.
“The leagues can be good vehicles for promoting cricket in a country,” Allardice said.
“There was a tournament in Canada [Global T20 Canada] not long ago. There is not a lot of elite cricket activity in Canada, so to have a chance for cricket fans in that country to see those players could be a good step.
“The league has to be good for the game. That means the players have to be looked after, as well as there being some legacy for cricket in that country.
“That is what we are looking at. It is not just going to be an open door for any promoter to come in. I think it will be harder to get sanctioned in the future.”
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The second T10 League, which will again take place in Sharjah, has been hit by problems of late, after its former president resigned, then questioned the integrity of the competition.
Despite that, the 10-over competition has been endorsed by both the Emirates Cricket Board and the ICC, while an impressive cast of players and coaches assembled at the draft.
“We were very enthused by the idea of T10 when Shaji [Ul Mulk, the T10 League founder] brought it to us two years ago, and we have been entirely supportive of the event since then,” David East the ECB chief executive, said.
“The first edition demonstrated how successful this format can be.”
Allardice said a league will not be sanctioned for a second season unless the first is successful.
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“A league that comes up, say in the UAE, needs the approval of the Emirates Cricket Board, then approval from the ICC,” Allardice said.
“You look at all the documentation, the ownership structures, and how it is going to be funded, then you provide approval. How is rolls out after that is in the hands of the owners.
“If there is dissatisfaction among players, generally they won’t go back, then the future success of a league is in jeopardy.
“If we get reports of that sort of thing happening, the likelihood of us sanctioning a second edition is significantly reduced.
“The hurdles to jump for a promoter to put on a T20 league are going to be a little bit higher, and the vetting process both by the ICC and the host country will be enhanced.”