We are not here to compete with T20s, remarks Rajeev Khanna amidst T10's potential expansion to five countries
T10 is slowly gaining legitimacy as cricket's newest format|
(Abu Dhabi T10)
Rajeev Khanna has revealed that the T10 leagues don't wish to replace T20s but simply serve a supporting role for them after Sri Lanka became the second nation to officially approve a T10 tournament. He further revealed the future plans for the format and the possibility of hosting T10 in India.
The T Ten Sports Management organization is quickly expanding its footprints in the cricketing fraternity by popularizing the newest format of cricket, T10, featuring only 10 overs an innings in games lasting less than two hours. The Chief Operating Officer of the leagues, Rajeev Khanna, has worked extensively with Indian Premier League teams and has been a strong exponent of the newest trend in gentlemen's game that has been on the rise especially in the last three years. The West Indies also has a T10 league of its own in collaboration with the Caribbean Premier League named the '6ixty', albeit the rules of games in the event are starkly different to the usual cricketing norms.
Currently, T Ten only hosts the Abu Dhabi T10 League with its sixth season currently underway, but Sri Lanka Cricket has already confirmed an official T10 league in collaboration with them from next year onwards. Khanna has further revealed they are in talks with several other cricketing boards in an effort to expand the operations to as many as five league across the world.
"The biggest thumbs up we have got is the first ever sanction from ICC full member SLC. They have approved the league and will be part of the league. We are also in talks with Zimbabwe and closing on that (deal)," Khanna told PTI.
"When full members of ICC are endorsing this league, it shows it has meat in it. In times to come, I am sure other boards including the BCCI will consider it too. We are planning one in Europe as well, either Scotland or the Netherlands and the fifth one in North America," he added.
However, amidst an already packed cricketing schedule, the endeavours for such an expansion may hit practicality roadblocks. Nevertheless, the Abu Dhabi edition already features the world's leading T20 players such as Kieron Pollard, Eoin Morgan and Tim David amongst others, making it a much sought after opportunity for all aspiring cricketers.
"The biggest challenge is to market this product and make it sustainable. Operation challenges are also there as it is a new format and not everyone knows about it including the players," Khanna explained.
"We are not here to compete with the T20 format. T10 can work as a talent feeder series to T20. The players love the format as it is quick and it is only two weeks (the T20 leagues are much longer)," he further revealed.
The format, however, is yet to make its way to India in a big way even though Khanna is optimistic of an opportunity arising in the near future.
"I have come on board recently and I would be talking to the BCCI and see if there is opportunity and acceptance for it. Who would not love to have the league in India? We are also in talks with state associations," he concluded on the matter.