Masters Champions League (MCL), UAE’s first of its kind cricket league, hosted a grand dinner on Monday to announce the event details and officially launch the brand anthem. With an overwhelming attendance of over 300 guests, the night saw the presence of major industry leaders, VIP guests and Bollywood stars.
The VIP gathering was star studded with cricket legends including West Indies’ Brian Lara, English icon Michael Vaughan, popular former South African captain Graeme Smith, Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag and former Pakistani all-rounder Azhar Mahmood celebrating the launch.
Speaking at the gala dinner, Zafar Shah, MCL Chairman, said, “The Masters Champions League is going to be every cricket lover’s dream come true. It’s a tournament, which will boast of Xtraordinary players with impeccable class and history. The tournament has inspired a renewed passion amongst these legends to show the world what they have missed. The tournament is based on four pillars-Xtraordinary Players, Fans, Competitive Spirit and Entertainment.”
The tournament will include six teams in its first year, with a total of 90 players participating – 15 members per squad. The matches will only see cricket stars who have retired from the international cricket circuit. The inaugural MCL matches are set to take place at 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 One-Day, Twenty20 Internationals and Test Matches.
Ms. Zarah Shah CEO MCL added, “It will be a first of its kind league in the UAE, a country which is rapidly beginning to make its impact on the international cricket scene. MCL is aiming to spread the spirit of cricket in the country. We are certain it will inspire a new generation of cricketers to represent the UAE.”
Virender Sehwag, one of the icons of the MCL, added, “It’s so exciting. It will be great to renew the rivalries. It’s good to have all of us playing this tournament. The facilities in the UAE have always been world class. I think it’s great for cricket to show what we can offer to develop the sport at the grassroots.”
The MCL has been approved for an initial 10 year period by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), while the organiser and rights owner of the tournament, GM Sports, is also closely following the established guidelines set out by game’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Further information regarding MCL – the tournament structure, franchises, player auction, and ticket sales – will all be uploaded to the tournament’s official website when it becomes available. The official MCL website can be found at: www.mcl2020.com.