Top cricketers go under hammer at Abu Dhabi T10 draft - GulfToday

Top cricketers go under hammer at Abu Dhabi T10 draft


A moderator speaks during the AD T10 draft in Dubai on Wednesday.

Mohammad Abdullah, Sports Reporter

The West Indian contingent dominated the draft for the second edition of the Abu Dhabi T10 held in Dubai on Wednesday.

Four of the eight players in the Icon Player category were from the Island nation, which has produced the likes of Sir Viv Richard, Sir Clive Lyod and Brain Lara to name a few.

If anything to go by the draft, it was once again evident that the West Indies have not lost their sheen and still great cricketers are coming from Caribbeans despite witnessing a steep downfall.

It will be the fourth season of the T10 tournament, which is a brainchild of Shaji-ul Mulk, but second since it was re-branded as the Abu Dhabi T10 after Abu Dhabi Cricket Council (ADDC) and T10 management joined hands in 2019 and decided to shift the tournament to the capital for the next five years.

Some of the biggest names in the world cricket were up for the grabs as the eight franchises were in mood to bolster their squad and mount a serious challenge for the prestigious title.

A total of 600 players went under the hammer in five different categories – Icon, A, B, C, Emerging and Emirati.

Gayle was picked by Team Abu Dhabi as their Icon Players, Qalandars retained crowd’s favourite Shahid Afridi, who held the record for the fastest century for almost two decades in the ODIs before it was finally broken by Quinton De Kock.

Dwayne Bravo, the highest wicket-taker in T20, was bought by Delhi Bulls while his West Indian compatriot Andre Russell will be seen plying his trade for Northern Warriors in the upcoming edition.

The wily spinner Sunil Narine will lead the bowling charge at Deccan Gladiators and Pakistan’s veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik will add experience and firepower to the defending champion Maratha Arabians.

Sri Lankan duo of Thisara Perera and Isuru Udana went to Pune Devils and Bangla Tigers respectively as the Icon Players.

To add more fire power to their pace attack Team Abu Dhabi added Pakistani pacer Usman Shinwari and West Indies’ Obed McCoy in the Gold or Category A.
Qalandars have roped in Pakistan’s all-rounder Sohail Tanveer and pace sensation Hassan Ali in the Category A. The duo will be an important cog in Qalandars’ plans along with Afridi.

Maratha Arabians first pick of the day was Mohammed Hafeez. They also added teeth to their attack with the signing of Bangladesh’s fast bowler Taskin Ahmed and India’s Parvin Tambe, the most senior cricketer on the circuit who is still playing in different league around the world.

Bangla Tigers roped in England cricketer Adam Hose in their batting line-up and bolstered pace attack with the signing of Pakistan’s Mohammad Irfan.
Deccan Gladiators were in no mood to be left behind and they made their intents clear by roping in Lahiru Kumara, Wanindu Hasaranga, Prashant Gupta and Pakistani wicket-keeper batsman Azam Khan.

Northern Warriors bolstered their batting prowess by roping in West Indian batsman Brandon King, Pakistani all-rounder Aamer Yamin and the Caribbean spinner Fabian Allen. Pune Devils picked up England’s Sam Billing, Sri Lankan Ajantha Mendis and South Africa’s Hardeus Viljeon.

The eight teams have been in placed in tow groups for the next season.

All the matches will be held at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi from Jan.28 to Feb.6, 2021.

A total of 28 matches will be played in a span of ten days – in which the world’s top international cricketers will participate.

Each of the four teams will play three matches – six in each group in the group-stage. A total of 12 matches will be held in the group stage, followed by 12 more matches in Super League to determine the line-up in the Super League in which top two ranks as Qualifiers while third and fourth fight out as Eliminators.

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