The cricket board of Saudi Arabia is negotiating with the star cricketers of Pakistan Shahid Afridi and Inzamam ul-Haq regarding the inaugural of the T10 cricket tournament scheduled to be held in the Kingdom later in 2018.
Six teams took part in the first ever T10 event in Sharjah in December, but the Saudi Cricket Board are looking for going bigger and better, as per the reports of Arab News on Friday.
Nadeem Nadwi—the Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Cricket told the newspaper that the tournament would be a big-money event.
He added that we would like the tournament to be high profile and would make it more appealing for the players with the prize money. He said that we are looking into the possibility of making it a $300,000 for the winners and $150,000 for the runners-up.
The Pakistani heartthrob—Boom Boom Afridi is already being lined up for playing in the T10 event, which would be scheduled over a maximum number of six days at the Ministry of Education Stadium in Jeddah, with the hope to get the Punjabi Legends, the team co-owned by Inzamam to participate.
Nadeem Nadwi informed that it would be difficult to get the Indian players as they have a policy as per which they could only take part in the Indian Premier League. However, main players from the sub-continent region along with the players from the United Kingdom, South Africa and West Indies are also expected to take part in the tournament.
He added that we want eight teams or a minimum of six franchises. There would be two from Pakistan, two from India, one from Bangladesh, one from Sri Lanka, one from Saudi Arabia and one from the United Arab Emirates. He said that the Saudi Cricket Board is looking for three matches per day in a span of five or six days.
The Saudi Cricket Board is still waiting for an official approval from the International Cricket Council, however, they do not expect that to be an issue and anticipate being provided with a green signal in August. The plan is to make the event a regular part of the short-format cricket and to schedule it every year for at least the next 5 years.
Nadwi said that it is the second most popular game after football, and as T10 match lasts for the same time as a football match so the expectation is that the locals would be attracted to it.