The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has announced that it is set to launch its own Twenty20 league, with Dubai Sports City lined up to serve as the tournament’s hub.

The ECB said the new league has been sanctioned by chairman HH Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan with launch dates of December 2021 and January 2022 being considered.

Like all other successful T20 league models, the ECB said its competition will be franchise based, adding this will attract “major international cricketers”.

The ECB has staged the T10 League since 2017, with its fourth edition concluding in Abu Dhabi at the weekend. The UAE also has a history of hosting other major T20 events, most noticeably the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Indeed, the 2020 IPL was staged in the UAE from September 19 to November 10, with the COVID-19 situation in India meaning that the League was moved to Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. The IPL was previously staged in part in the UAE in 2014, due to a clash with that year’s general elections in India.

While further information about the new league is due to be announced in the “near future”, Dr. Tayeb Kamali, ECB board member and selection committee chairman, said: “We are delighted with the launch of our own T20 League, one we believe will enhance the growth and popularity of cricket being played in the UAE.

“We also envisage that UAE-based players will continue to flourish through such opportunities as they continue to make their mark on the international stage.”

Image: Emirates Cricket Board