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Auction in the Masters Champions League (MCL) takes place in Dubai today

Source - The National

Who is in the auction?

Around 250 former international stars, including Brian Lara, are eligible to be auctioned and they will have to be squeezed into 90 places in the six sides scheduled to take part in the Twenty20 tournament. The auction takes place through the day in Dubai on Monday.

Will I recognise any of the players?

You sure will. Eleven marquee names have been pre-assigned to the six teams. They are Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Michael Vaughan, Graeme Smith, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Heath Streak, Graeme Swann, Abdul Razzaq, Azhar Mahmood and Scott Styris. Shoaib Akhtar had originally been named as another but he has pulled out.

Six teams, you say?

That is right, the league will be played by six teams, or franchises. Each team is named after a star sign: Libra, Leo, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Virgo and Gemini. Organisers say all six franchises have been bought and details of ownership are expected to be released at the auction.

When does the shindig get underway?

Dates will be revealed today but an approximate two-week window is ready from late January to early February. It will be played at all three international venues in the UAE: Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Is it the same thing as ….

The All-Stars league that recently staged three Twenty20 games in the US? Nope, though the idea is similar and some of the players here will have played in those games as well. Those games were the brainchild of Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne and is a rolling series of games, to be held across the world. ‚Äč

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