Virender Sehwag
The fans will be eager to see Virender Sehwag in his destructive mood on Thursday.Reuters

The retired stars of the international game have all landed in Dubai for the inaugural season of the Masters Champions League (MCL) T20 2016 which starts on 28 January, Thursday. 

The opening match will see Libra Legends and Gemini Arabians locking horns at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Sourav Ganguly is the skipper of Libra Legends and Virender Sehwag will lead the Gemini Arabians in this glamorous T20 league.

Both sides have an array of superstars and neither of them can be termed as favourites in Thursday's game.

There were rumours that Legends skipper Sourav Ganguly has pulled out of the tournament because of an injury, which had disappointed the 'Dada' fans, and they were eagerly waiting for the confirmation from the franchise on the same. 

The confirmation came on Tuesday from MCL chairman Zafar Shah as well as the Libra Legends franchise that Ganguly will arrive in Dubai and be a part of MCL and Libra Legends. 

The Legends cannot afford to lose another player as they have already lost Shaun Tait. The fast bowler is currently a member of the Australia T20 squad who are playing against India. Another Australian Simon Katich, has been named as Tait's replacement.

Meanwhile, other than Viru, stars like Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara, Kyle Mills, Saqlain Mushtaq, Jacques Rudolph, Brad Hodge, Richard Levi and Shivnarine Chanderpaul will play for Gemini Arabians. The Legends bowling attack should be wary of these names as they can create a havoc during the opening game of the MCL.  

In November 2015, the fans were treated with the Cricket All Stars T20 league in the US. They were heartbroken as they never knew when will they get to see their favourite players in action again but here they are featuring for six different franchises in the MCL 2016. Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne are not a part of the MCL but the love for the game has managed to grab the attention of the fans.

This is also one of the most highly-anticipated T20 tournaments of 2016 and the stage is set for an exciting league in the United Arab Emirates. 

MCL Match 1: Libra Legends vs Gemini Arabians complete schedule:

Date: 28 January, Thursday.

Venue - Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Timings - 7:30 pm local time (9 pm IST, 8:30 pm Pakistan time, 10:30 am EST & 3:30 pm GMT).

TV listings - Sony SIX/ HD  (India), PTV Sports and Geo Super (Pakistan), Ten Sport (Middle East), SuperSport (Sub Saharan Countries), Sportsmax (Caribbean)