The inaugural Emirates D10 League has come as a boost for several domestic cricketers in the UAE, with the tournament marking the resumption of cricket in the region after a prolonged break.

Six teams are battling it out for the maiden prize in the tournament which is set to culminate on Friday with the final. While the domestic tournament is helping several UAE internationals to shake off their rustiness, it has also come as a boon for several aspiring youngsters in the region.

With a total of 34 matches spread over two weeks in Dubai, the D10 League organised by the Emirates Cricket Board has come as an excellent opportunity for these players who dream of playing for the UAE one day.

As such, a chance to test their mettle against established UAE stars and foreign stalwarts such as Zimbabwe’s Graeme Cremer is proving to be a big draw for these young starlets.

One defining characteristic of the tournament is the healthy mix of senior and junior cricketers in the rosters of the six teams in fray. Many youngsters from the various cricket academies in the UAE have been afforded a chance to strut their wares in the ongoing tournament.

Quite a few of the players selected for the competition are from the Kings’ and YTCA cricket academies, including rising UAE star Vriitya Aravind. Representing the ECB Blues, Aravind has been scorching the run-scoring charts with 335 runs in nine matches so far. Other Emirates D10 players to have come through these two academies are Wasi Shah and Hamad Arshad of Ajman Alubond.

For both Hamad and Shah, the experience of playing in the tournament is proving to be a highly valuable one.

“It has been a great experience so far and I am delighted to have been given this opportunity,” Hamad said.

“It is a welcome initiative from the Emirates Cricket Board. To rub shoulders with international players has been fantastic and the quality of cricket has been excellent as well,” he added.

“It is nice to have competitive cricket again after so many months.”

Wasi Shah echoed Hamad’s sentiments on the D10 League and believes more tournaments like these are the need of the hour.

“We do have plenty of tournaments happening now in the region, but it would be great to have a 20-over domestic competition in the future also,” the teenager stated.

“To play against the best players in the country is nice and gives young players like me a chance to really put our skills to the test.”

The Emirates D10 League was will be an annual fixture in the domestic calendar going forward, and youngsters like Hamad and Shah can expect more such opportunities in the future as well. When the tournament was announced last month, Emirates Cricket Board General Secretary Mubashshir Usmani had signalled the governing body’s intentions of holding similar tournaments in the 20-over and 50-over formats as well.

“We expect this format to assist in developing each player’s skill-set, encourage team cohesiveness and provide us with a platform to identify and select future talent,” ECB Selection Committee Chairman Dr. Tayeb Kamali had said during the tournament’s launch.

The matches for the D10 League are being held at the ICC Academy in Dubai, while also being streamed live to audiences across various platforms.

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