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Who's playing, what are the rules and is it on TV?

It's cricket's latest reinvention.

Over four days, some of the sport’s biggest names and longest hitters take to the stage in the UAE for a showcase of quick scoring, death bowling and risk taking.

It promises to be spectacular. But who is actually involved? How can you keep with the action? And are there any special innovations we should keep an eye out for?

Luckily for us all, The Cricketer is on hand with the answers.

What's the big deal?

It's only the inaugural T10 League (formerly known as the T10 Cricket League - the 'Cricket' bit got removed for copyright reasons).

What?! You mean it's got shorter?

Yep. In 2003, the ECB launched Twenty20 as a way of engaging a new audience in cricket.

Fast forward 14 years and our attention spans have halved, apparently.

So I can watch it all on my lunch break?

Almost. Innings are 10 overs aside and matches should last around 90 minutes.

By comparison, a T20 innings should last about 75 minutes if a side uses all their overs.

Apart from being shorter, is anything actually different?

Well, there's a maximum of two overs per bowler (and watch out for penalties for slow over rate). Otherwise it is basically an abbreviated T20. Bet you never thought you'd read that sentence.

Fascinatingly, Duckworth-Lewis can be introduced to get a result for rain-interrupted matches… but that rain better pass through quickly. You need a minimum of five overs a side to qualify a game.

In the eventuality of a tie, we'll get a Super Over (capital letters obligatory).

How many teams are there?

Six. And it's a real pick-and-mix selection. Your headliners are: Martha Arabians, Group Sri Lanka Cricket, Pakhtoons, Kerala Kings, Bengal Tigers and Punjabi Legends.

As you're starting to appreciate, no one's really representing anyone.

Shahid Afridi is taking part in the T10 League

Who do I know?

Eoin Morgan, Carlos Brathwaite, Virender Sehwag, Shahid Afridi, Misbah ul Haq, Dwayne Bravo… you get the idea.

Two places in each of the squads were reserved for UAE players, with a guarantee that one will be in each starting XI. 

And where is it being held?

The famous Sharjah Stadium, home to many a cricket tournament and Pakistan home game down the years.

Great. So when does it start?

Thursday, December 14. The tournament lasts four days and incorporates a round robin group stage before the knockouts. It all finishes on Sunday, December 19.

Any chance it's on telly?

ESPN have the Indian rights, Ten Sports in Pakistan and Channel 9 in Bangladesh.

If you're in the UK, you're in luck too.

You need to tune into ARY Family. Never heard of it? Little surprise there, it’s way down the TV guide on channel 863 on Sky.

The opening ceremony will be screened there from 2pm on Thursday… then they have live coverage non-stop from noon each of the remaining days of the tournament.

So is it going to be any good?

Well those who are taking part are raving about it, obviously. And both Eoin Morgan and Virender Sehwag have tipped the format to be the best chance cricket has of getting into the Olympics.

Most remain unconvinced.

Thanks very much

You're very welcome.

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