Image Courtesy: @T10League
Sharjah (UAE): A pool of former India stars are making a splash at the T10 League that is spreading fast as a popular format of the gentleman's game, attracting more cricket fans as days go by.
Zaheer Khan leads the pack of Indian veterans playing in the second season of the T10 League, along with Munaf Patel, S. Badrinath, Praveen Kumar, Pravin Tambe, R.P. Singh, RS Sodhi and Amotoze Singh, who are displaying cricketing skills to the cheering crowds.
Former India leg-spinner Pravin Tambe started his T10 League career with a big bang and proved to the world that age is not a bar in performance -- even if it is at the most vibrant and shortest format.
The 47-year-old, who had a brief stint in the Indian Premier League with Rajasthan Royals, picked up the best figures in the shortest format of the game with 5/15 and also a hat-trick.
Tambe picked up the wickets of Eoin Morgan, Kieron Pollard and Fabien Allen to complete his hat-trick. He took the wicket of Chris Gayle to give his team an ideal start. His fifth wicket was Sri Lanka opener Upul Tharanga.
It was the first five-wicket haul by a bowler in the shortest format of the game - and came from an Indian spinner. Tambe has taken 7 wickets so far from three encounters conceding 56 runs.
Tambe is playing for the newcomers Sindhis, who are struggling on the points table.
Praveen Kumar, who has limited pace but has the ability to swing the ball both ways, persistence to bowl long spells, and an almost intuitive knowledge of how to take wickets on unresponsive wickets, is playing at the T10 League this time to enthrall the crowd with his cricketing prowess.
Praveen took three wickets for his team Punjabi Legends to put the defending champions Kerala Knights on the defensive. He took six wickets for 63 runs in three matches so far.
Zaheer, who took 311 wickets in Test cricket, 282 wickets in one-day internationals and 17 T20 wickets in a career spanning 14 years, has bagged 2 wickets for 19 runs in two matches that he has appeared in for his team Bengal Tigers.
India's left-arm medium fast bowler Rudra Pratap Singh, who has been playing for the Pakhtoons, has bagged three wickets for 62 runs in three encounters.
"The inclusion of some of the most prominent Indian cricketers in the T10 League, is helping attract crowds to the ten-over format cricket that concludes in 90 minutes," T10 League Chairman Shaji Ul Mulk said.
"Pravin Tambe's record five-wicket haul that included a hat-trick will go a long way in rewriting the history of the game of cricket and the shortest format is now spreading like rapid fire among the cricket fans worldwide."
The Chairman of the world's first T10 League says there will be more Indian cricketers playing in the T10 League in the future.
"Now that the T10 League is gaining popularity across South Asia and beyond, we expect more Indian cricketers to join the T10 League in future and we are working with the cricket boards and other stakeholders to ensure more Indian participation in this league," he said.
The T10 League, the world's first 10-over international professional cricket league is licensed by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) and sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC), making it the world's first professional first-class cricket league in the ten-over format.
The T10 League matches are telecast live through Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN in India, Ten Sports in Pakistan, Ten Cricket in the Middle East and North Africa. It is also streamed on SonyLIV.
The 2018 edition that started on November 21, will conclude on December 2 with a total of 29 matches as compared to a four-day event in 2017.
To meet this new challenge and also to keep the event clean, the T10 League management has made many positive changes to bolster the execution and operations of the 2018 T10 League tournament.
Eight teams -- Kerala Knights, Punjab Legends, Maratha Arabians, Bengal Tigers, Sindhis, Rajputs, Northern Warriors and Pakhtoons -- have been drawn in two groups.