Has the left the station. And is about to become a runaway train!
The 5th year of the Abu Dhabi T10 League starts in November shortly after the current T20 World Cup. Many of the top stars are lined up including Morgan, Rashid, Livingstone, Gayle, Pooran, Wiese, Afridi. Five Irish are involved Stirling (5th year), Campher, Little, Delaney and Kevin O'Brien as coach. His big bro Niall is a commentator.
In the early 2000s, T20 began to rear its head. Not much notice was taken and now 15 years later is the main show in town. T20 changed the landscape and innovated relentlessly. But now the little sibling is near all grown up and is about to challenge.
European Cricket Network (ECN) boasts that in 2021 it has broadcast 1000 T10's on its YouTube channel. Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Croatia, Italy and many other unlikely mainland European countries have hosted T10 competitions which have been televised live by ECN. The main sponsor is an Indian gaming company. The lure of the unknown is an irresistible force to many particularly in South Asia. Another impetus to the short game in Europe is the influx of refugees from countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The English Minor County XI defeated Belgium to win the inaugural T10 European Nations Cup hosted recently in Malaga, Spain. 15 countries competed over four weeks in the Mediterranean idyll where cricket can be played all year round. It is clear from the online highlights how much the victory meant to the young English team which included a number of players with County cricket experience. Also noteworthy was the performance of Belgium who beat the English in an earlier round and gave them a serious fright in the Final.
In February 2022 ECN will broadcast the T10 European Champions Cup from Malaga. 30 champion teams from across Europe will compete. Brigade CC, current T20 title holders, will represent Ireland. This will probably be the biggest ever televised cricket tournament.
T10 is Pure Boom Boom and is the logical evolution of T20. 90 minutes fits snugly into TV schedules and also suits modern age participation. In a strange way T10 might be the saviour of 50 over and Test cricket. As it stands T20 is uncomfortably close to the 50 over format. T10 will exist in its own right and allow the longer forms their own space.
"Sorry sir, I just missed the last train. When is the next one due?"
"It'll be along shortly. On platform F5!"