The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is planning to replicate the model of the highly successful franchise-based IPL T20 league by starting its own such tournament later this year. Abu Dhabi already hosts an annual T10 league which attracts some of the known names from the world of international cricket.

The league has been sanctioned by ECB chairman Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan with the board exploring the December-January window to kickoff the event. “Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is pleased to announce that UAE’s own exclusive T20 league has been sanctioned by ECB Chairman His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan to Dubai Sports City and will soon be held in the UAE. The dates being considered are December 2021 and January 2022,” ECB said in a statement on Tuesday.

It hopes that the franchise based event will attract major international cricketers similar to the other T20 leagues being held around the globe. The modalities of the league are being finalised with Khalid Al Zarooni, ECB Vice Chairman, hoping it will help in the further development cricket in UAE.

“We see this League as another premier addition to our growing tournament calendar. Emirates Cricket, and the UAE, has a proven history of identifying and embracing initiatives that underpin the success of the game, as well as encourage and develop home-grown talent,” Zarooni said in a statement.

“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,” ECB Board Member Tayeb Kamali, said in a statement.

UAE already boasts the experience of hosting T20 leagues including the IPL last season and Pakistan Super League as well.