Organisers, along with dignitaries, pose after the press conference in Abu Dhabi.
Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
England’s World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan confirmed his participation for the third edition of Abu Dhabi T10 to be held from Nov.15 to 24 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Along with Morgan, hosts of international stars like former West Indian captain Darren Sammy Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik and Sri Lankans Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga are the other big names who will grace the occasion.
To add spice to the star-studded line-up former Pakistani captain Shahid Afridi and Australia’s Shane Watson will be in action as well.
West Indians Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo are the few other names who will set the tournament on fire with their enchanting performances. Not only this, a few Indian players like Yuvraj Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Irfan Pathan are also likely to join the stellar line-up.
The T10 is the shortest and the latest format of the game where each team gets to play only 10 overs and the match gets over in 90 minutes like that of a football game.
The format is the brainchild of T10 League chairman Shaji ul Mulk. He said: “The game is changing as evidenced by the phenomenal success of T20. The recent ICC Cricket World Cup final was the most watched ever but in order to make cricket popular outside India, England and Australia where the game already has a huge following we have to take some initiative.
“We have to bring the most talented stars on the biggest stage of the game so that they get an opportunity to showcase their talent and skills.” However, Shaji ul Mulk ruled out the addition of any other team for the third edition of Abu Dhabi T10.
He informed: “A total of eight teams will vie for the top honours. For now, we are not going to add any new team because we are comfortable with this set-up in this format.”
However much to the delight of the fans he announced that many Indian cricketers who have recently taken retirement from the Indian team are likely to join the T10 League.
He said: “We are in talks with their agents and the stars like Yuvraj, Rayudu, Irfan are the ones who can join the tournament. The Indian Cricket Board has very tough regulations under which any cricketer under the contract of the board cannot play in any league other than IPL.
Shaji also expressed his delight on re-branding the tournament as AbuDhabiT10.
“We are delighted to be associated with the Government of Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Cricket Council (ADCC). We are getting all kinds of support from Abu Dhabi entities that is needed to hold the tournament successfully.
“I am hopeful that this partnership is going to stay for long. Partnering with the Government of Abu Dhabi to host T10 on a long-term basis is a natural win-win for everybody who will now get to experience unparalleled cricket action in a truly unforgettable atmosphere,” he concluded. The first two editions of T10 were held in Sharjah and Dubai.
The first edition was held at the iconic Sharjah Cricket Stadium only. The tournament was played across a span of six days. Only 6 teams took part in the first edition.
However the second edition, which was bigger and better, was held at two venues – Dubai Cricket Stadium and Sharjah Cricket Stadium. And the tournament, which featured eight teams, was held across 12 days.
Abu Dhabi T10 builds on the surging popularity of the global game and is the first ever 10-over league in the world to receive the full backing and sanction of both the International Cricket Council and Emirates Cricket Board.
Eight teams who will be seen in action in this edition — Kerala Knights, Bengal Tigers, Northern Warriors, Pakhtoons, Deccan Gladiators, Punjab Legends, Maratha Arabians and Rajputs – are readying themselves for the Abu Dhabi T20 draft slated for mid-September.
Abu Dhabi Cricket CEO Matt Boucher noted: “We feel we’ve bolstered the capital’s glowing portfolio of world-class events by ensuring that Abu Dhabi becomes a must-see ticket on the global cricket calendar for the next five years and what this means for the growth of the sport in the region. It’s another big stride in the growth of cricket in Abu Dhabi and we’re grateful to both the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council for making this happen.”
Saeed Al Saeed, Director of Destination Marketing at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said, “We are really looking forward to welcoming cricket fans, both those based in the UAE and those from overseas, for the Abu Dhabi T10, so they can discover for themselves what our extraordinary destination has to offer.”
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