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UAE T20 League boss wants Smith and Warner to feature  

Salman Sarwar Butt, the chief executive of the UAE T20 League set to begin in December, has reportedly made contact with Australian duo David Warner and Steve Smith in an attempt to convince them to sign up for his latest venture. Warner and Smith were both banned for their role in the Sandpaper Gate controversy earlier this year but are currently a part of the Caribbean Premier League.

“We are in contact with their agents. There is a positive indication but we need to wait and see. We’d love to have them on board. Steve and David are obviously great international players and well known around the world,” Butt explained.

“I’m pretty sure they (Smith and Warner) would love to play and contribute to the development of cricket. Our league is unique because it helps the global development agenda. We already have access to some very exciting talent from more than 35 associate countries. We really hope Cricket Australia help us with our development agenda,” he went on to add.

However, it remains to be seen if Smith and Warner will be willing to forego their Christmas break to feature in the league. The UAE T20 League will kick off in December and run through January, with a total of 22 matches set to be played. As many as 300 players have already stuck their names in the hat for selection, including a few international stars like David Miller and Andre Russell, both of whom have been named ‘icon’ players for their respective teams. AB de Villiers too was reportedly signed up as the league’s ambassador.

Smith and Warner’s addition will give the younger players from associate nations who will form the chunk of the 16-man squads of the teams, a chance to rub shoulders with the very best in international cricket.

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