Abu Dhabi T10: It is set to be a carnival of cricket

The 'Universe Boss' Chris Gayle leads a stellar cast in the Abu Dhabi T10 League. — AFP file
The 'Universe Boss' Chris Gayle leads a stellar cast in the Abu Dhabi T10 League. — AFP file

Dubai - The fifth season gets underway in the UAE capital from Friday



by

James Jose

Published: Thu 18 Nov 2021, 11:55 PM

If cricket was motorsport, the UAE would be its racetrack. In Formula One parlance, ever since the five lights went off, it has been non-stop and breathtaking racing, with the chequered flag nowhere in sight, so to speak. So has been the case or still is, as far as cricket is concerned. Ever since mid-September, it has been a celebration of cricket on these shores with the Indian Premier League (IPL), the most popular T20 franchise league in the world, as well as the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) showpiece — the T20 World Cup following in that order. And even before the smoke has settled after the pyrotechnic fireworks at the ‘Ring of Fire’ following the mighty Australians’ awesome win, down the E11, the sport’s shortest ever format will crackle into gear.

The fifth iteration of the Abu Dhabi T10 League will begin on the morrow and cricket fans, especially here in the UAE, will be a pampered lot and perhaps the envy of other cricket-playing countries. If the IPL and the T20 World Cup weren’t enough, fans will be treated to cricket of a certain quality, by some of the world’s best stars as well as budding young talent, over the next fortnight.

The starship-shaped Zayed Cricket Stadium, in the UAE capital, will be cynosure of all eyes as six franchises — Team Abu Dhabi, Bangla Tigers, Deccan Gladiators, Delhi Bulls, Chennai Braves and Northern Warriors — square off for the top prize from Friday until December 4, coinciding with the UAE’s 50th National Day.

And it is a star-studded roster of players across the six franchises headlined by none other than the man whom they call the ‘Universe Boss.’ Chris Gayle, the Caribbean king, leads a stellar cast that includes countrymen ‘DJ Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell, Fidel Edwards, Rovman Powell and Akeal Hosein, Englishmen Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Tymal Mills, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Ravi Bopara and Tom Banton, South Africans Faf du Plessis, Colin Ingram, Imran Tahir and Rilee Rossouw, Australian James Faulkner, Pakistan’s Wahab Riaz and Rumman Raees, Sri Lankans Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Isuru Udana, Upul Tharanga and Maheesh Theekshana, India’s Yusuf Pathan and Abhimanyu Mithun, as well as the UAE’s Rohan Mustafa, Zahoor Khan, Muhammad Waseem and Muhammad Farazuddin, and others from Afghanistan and other nations. The teams stacked up well following the Player Draft, which was held on October 7. And it promises to be cricket at a breakneck speed in 90 minutes, the duration of a footbll game.

“The quality of both the players and teams get better every year, making the Abu Dhabi T10 stronger with each edition,” said Matt Boucher, CEO of Abu Dhabi Cricket.

“As a result, we’re able to continue delivering on the Abu Dhabi Sports Council’s vision of hosting and promoting world-class sporting events, within the safest bio parameters,” he added.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi T10 chairman and owner Shaji ul Mulk said: “We can’t wait to get started with another thrilling edition of the cricket’s fastest format, and to witness some of the best players in the world here in Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi T10 promises to deliver a thrilling two weeks of cricketing action and we are excited to welcome back UAE cricket fans to the stadium as we close out a historic cricketing calendar in the country.”

The opener on Friday sees Northern Warriors embarking on their title defence against the Delhi Bulls, while Team Abu Dhabi, which has the ‘Universe Boss’ and Livingstone as the icon player, locking horns against the Bangla Tigers, in the late game.

As was the case with the IPL and the T20 World Cup, fans will be in attendance and they will be required to show a negative PCR test within 96 hours of the start of the game they are attending, alongside a green status on the AL HOSN app.

The carnival of cricket cannot wait to begin.

james@khaleejtimes.com


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