Afghanistan Premier League : Towards the middle of 1980, West Indies, a team that had heretofore been a considerable threat to any team bowling at the other crease – be it ODI or Test crickets, started its decline from its glory days. It is true that Windies have always been plagued by the schism between players and boards regarding the barely enough payscale, but this was not the largest detriment.
As it happened, by 1985, nearly all the youngsters had changed their orientation to adopt other forms of sports – those with the kind of excitement that comes from the short time spans they were played in, football, for example. The Caribbean was not exclusive to this phenomenon. It was seen to varying extents globally, to a great enough degree for a decline in popularity to become noticeable.
The ODI was then, naturally, the shortest form of the game, as the Test match can last anything from a matter of five days to a week today as well. Even so, ODIs took a whole day, compared to the two-hour football fixtures. It was then observed that when certain prestige one-days had to make do with a cut in the number of overs played due to unfavorable weather, the general excitement among the audience enhanced. The formula then became clear, as clear as it was to the ECB when they devised the scheme of a sort of cricket that can be a three-hour long adrenaline trip, transmuting it into the kind of consumable sport that became more and more the millennial trend.
Afghanistan Premier League | APL T20 2018
ECB capitalized on this trend in 2002 – eliminating two birds with one stone – they filled the empty nooks that emerged in the wake of Benson and Hedges Cup, and they introduced the first sincere manifestation of a 3-hour long cricket match. ECB marketing manager Stuart Robertson pitched his draft on a 20-over one-off match, and it was instantly approved. In 2004, the first ever T-20 game drew a crowd of over 27,000 – the highest numbers county cricket had seen in decades.
The form did not take long to latch on and draw crowds in the rest of the world. After the success of the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup, and BCCI started their domestic league with the Twenty20 format, building it after the model of the North American sports franchises. Twenty20 soon came to represent, rather than cricket itself, a heavily commercialized lucrative sector for investment.
Today, the domestic Twenty20 leagues have become rife with sponsorships, entertainment add-ons, large broadcast values, and net worth. All the domestic leagues after IPL – the Pakistan Super League and Bangladesh Premier League followed suit and saw major success commercially, and additionally a scope for global exposure. It was a win-win, likewise, with the Caribbean Premier League and Australia’s own Big Bash League (and more recently Women’s Big Bash League), and the Kia Super League for English women cricketers.
The newest addition to the bandwagon is a candidate who would have seen very unlikely for the occasion a decade ago – Afghanistan. ACB and the United Emirates Board held talks earlier and will be joining the ranks of domestic T-20 countries soon with Afghanistan Premiere League (APL Twenty20) scheduled to start its first iteration this October. It will occupy the only slot of the year devoid of any major domestic leagues so far, drawing attention from audience across the globe after the wave of T20 Blast in England, SLC in Sri Lanka, and the Caribbean Premier League washes over at the end of September. As the ACB chief executive Shafiq Stanikzai has confirmed, there will be 23 matches between five teams over the expanse of 17 days. All 23 matches will be taking place in UAE. Although more specifics are yet to be announced, far as speculations take us, the entirety of the inaugural tournament will be held in Sharjah Cricket stadium from 5th October onwards.
APL T20 2018 Teams
Here is the full schedule for the tournament, to be held between 5th and 21st October, 2018.
|Date||Day||APL Matches Schedule||Time|
|05/10/2018||Friday||KABUL vs PAKTIA||8 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|06/10/2018||Saturday||NANGARHAR vs KANDAHAR||4 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|06/10/2018||Saturday||KABUL vs BALKH||8 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|07/10/2018||Sunday||PAKTIA vs NANGARHAR||4 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|07/10/2018||Sunday||BALKH vs KANDAHAR||8 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|09/10/2018||Tuesday||KABUL vs NANGARHAR||8 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|10/10/2018||Wednesday||PAKTIA vs BALKH||8 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|11/10/2018||Thursday||KANDAHAR vs KABUL||4 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|11/10/2018||Thursday||NANGARHAR vs BALKH||8 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|12/10/2018||Friday||PAKTIA vs KANDAHAR||4 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|12/10/2018||Friday||KABUL vs NANGARHAR||8 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|13/10/2018||Saturday||BALKH vs PAKTIA||4 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|13/10/2018||Saturday||KANDAHAR vs NANGARHAR||8 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|14/10/2018||Sunday||KABUL vs BALKH||4 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|14/10/2018||Sunday||NANGARHAR vs PAKTIA||8 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|16/10/2018||Tuesday||KABUL vs KANDAHAR||8 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|17/10/2018||Wednesday||NANGARHAR vs BALKH||4 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|17/10/2018||Wednesday||KANDAHAR vs PAKTIA||8 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|18/10/2018||Thursday||KANDAHAR vs BALKH||4 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|18/10/2018||Thursday||KABUL vs PAKTIA||8 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|19/10/2018||Friday||SEMI FINAL -1||8 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|20/10/2018||Saturday||SEMI FINAL -2||8 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
|21/10/2018||Sunday||FINAL||8 PM GST / 9 PM PKT / 9:30 PM IST|
The five teams that have been selected to complete, as the norm goes, are named after Afghan cities: Kabul, the capital city, Balkh from Mazar-i-sharif, Kandahar from the southeastern Afghan city, Nangarhar from Jalalabad, and Paktia, from the city of Khost in Loya Paktia.
The star-studded teams have already been assembled, with ‘icon players’ representing the badges of their respective franchise. Their names international reputations precede their name, and naturally, their brand values:
- Shahid Afridi for Paktia
- Chris Gayle for Balkh
- Rashid Khan for Kabul
- Brendon McCallum for Kandahar
- Andre Russell for Nangarhar
Also Check :