Are you ready to watch Sachin, Lara, Akram & other cricketing legends back in action? Then prepare yourself for the MCL!
The things that every true cricket lover dreams about are about to become a reality.
The legendary cricketers you grew up watching won’t be confined to the commentary rooms and royal boxes any more. The upcoming Masters Champions League (MCL) is set to bring these cricketing greats back to competitive action.
Here’s a little teaser.
Set to kick off in 2016, the MCL will feature a franchise format. However, unlike the IPL or Big Bash, teams will not be based on geographic location, and instead will simply include the best possible players a franchise owner can put together from the qualifying player base.
The tournament will be made up of six teams in its first year, with a total of 90 players taking part – 15 members per squad. The players must all have been former international cricketers who are now retired from all forms of the professional sport.
@MCL2020UAE I feel blessed that I will be given an opportunity to watch my heroes once again, thank you to everyone for making it happen
— Ilyas Najib (@illyilly14) June 3, 2015
The MCL has been approved for a 10 year period by the Emirates Cricket Board, and will follow the established guidelines set out by the ICC.
The inaugural MCL matches are due to take place over two weeks in February, 2016.They will be played in the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium and Sharjah Cricket Stadium, which have all previously hosted major cricket tournaments, including the IPL, as well as first class and international Test matches.
— MCL 2020 (@MCL2020UAE) June 3, 2015
“As with many other popular sports, there is a real desire amongst fans and cricketers to see some of the game’s retired icons back in serious competition. The MCL will be a unique and competitive annual T20 tournament offering exactly that. It will allow fans to consistently watch quality and entertaining cricket involving some of the legends of the game,” said MCL Chairman Zafar Shah during the league’s official launch in Dubai.
“The UAE is an ideal location for this unique tournament: It’s easy to access from anywhere in the world; it has a large fan base already living in the country; and it has three fantastic international stadiums to host the matches. We hope that by holding the tournament in the UAE it might also inspire a new generation of Emiratis to take up the great game, leaving a lasting legacy in the country,” Shah added.
“Our ultimate vision is for the MCL to become the natural next step for all international players retiring from the professional game to extend their careers in a Masters league,” said David East, CEO of the Emirates Cricket Board.
— Adam Gilchrist (@gilly381) June 3, 2015
Former West Indies player Brian Lara, who has signed up for the league, said: “I am thrilled and honoured to be taking part in what promises to be an exceptional display of competitive cricket. The UAE is a great location for a tournament like this to be based, with a big fan base in the country already and easy access for millions of other fans around the world. I hope people get behind the MCL and support some of the heroes of the game as they look to extend their careers a little longer.”
“The MCL is a tremendous force for good, which is partly what attracted me to it. The organisers have ensured giving back is a major theme, alongside inspiring cricket in the Middle East and in terms of leaving a lasting legacy,” Lara added.
The MCL website can be found at: www.mcl2020.com. Fans and other followers can also keep up with the tournament via MCL’s social media channels:
Inputs for this story were taken from a press release by EveryMedia
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