New Seven-A-Side Cricket League Set To Launch This Week, Begin Play In March
A new seven-a-side corporate cricket league -- to be called 7PL -- "is set to be launched this week," according to K. Shriniwas Rao of the TIMES OF INDIA. The league will be bankrolled by a UAE-based conglomerate, and "if everything goes as planned, is all set to get underway this year." India captain MS Dhoni "is the chief brand ambassador of the league and the official announcement is expected in Dubai this week." 7PL "has the blessings" of the Int'l Cricket Council and the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The league "aims to further shrink the number of overs in a game." It will be played between seven teams, each representing the seven Emirates of the UAE -- Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah and Umm al-Qaiwain. The teams "will have players from seven countries" -- India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, the U.K. and Australia, apart from the UAE. Each country "is expected to be affiliated with one Emirate." Scheduled to begin in March, the matches "will first be played in Dubai -- both indoors and outdoors at its state-of-the-art cricket facility that also houses the World Cricket Academy." The quarterfinals, semifinals and the final "will be played outdoors" (TIMES OF INDIA, 1/7).