Abu Dhabi T10 promises interesting match-ups
Team owners and officials during the unveiling of the Abu Dhabi T10 League trophy in Dubai on Tuesday. - Juidin Bernarrd
Dubai - The draw for the League was held in Dubai on Tuesday; Players' draft to take place in Abu Dhabi on October 16
The winds of change may be blowing across but things are certainly heating up and about to go full steam as far as the Abu Dhabi T10 League is concerned.
The third season of the League, the first and only 10-over format cricket league in the world, promises to be bigger and better. And there is the prospect of intriguing battles when the League plays out on its new battleground - the Zayed Cricket Stadium - in the UAE capital.
The draw for the third instalment was held on Tuesday and it pitches the new team Bangla Tigers alongside the Deccan Gladiators, the Karnataka Tuskers and the Delhi Bulls, in Group A.
Group B consists of reigning champions Northern Warriors, Maratha Arabians, new team Lahore Qalandars and the yet to be named Team 8.
Shaji Ul Mulk, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi T10 and the brain behind the League, revealed that the players' draft will take place in Abu Dhabi on October 16.
"Right since the inception of the Abu Dhabi T10 League, we've had very consistent owners. We do have new owners this year. I take this opportunity to thank all of you for being part of the League and the journey and making it successful," Shaji Ul Mulk said on Tuesday.
"Today is an important day where the team groupings will be known. There is friendship but the rivalry starts today. Meanwhile, the players' draft is now confirmed to take place on October 16," he added.
Matthew Boucher, CEO of Abu Dhabi Cricket said that the presence of three government entities will take cricket and the league to a whole new level.
"You see three key logos - Abu Dhabi Cricket, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the Department of Culture and Tourism. It is the first time ever that these three government entities in Abu Dhabi have supported cricket. So, it is a very important moment in the sporting ecosystem of Abu Dhabi. We've got the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, we've got a top tier golf championship. And we wanted cricket to become part of the top table," said Boucher.
Meanwhile, Mubasher Usmani, general secretary of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) too echoed Boucher.
"As the Emirates Cricket Board, the governing body for cricket in the UAE, we have always looked to develop and promote cricket. And the biggest witness is having a T10 format, which has been initiated by Shaji Ul Mulk and sanctioned by the ECB. We are totally happy with the integrity and the kind of progress T10 has made over the past three years. And with Abu Dhabi justifying it by coming in as government entity and making it Abu Dhabi T10," Usmani said.
Delhi Bulls team owner Rizwan Sajan said they were thrilled to continue their partnership with the League.
"We have been with Shaji Ul Mulk since the League's inception. And when he came up with this idea, I said that this cannot go wrong. We are delighted to be here for the third season and to support the League. And I'm sure this League will go a very long way. I wish my brother (team mentor Anis Sajan) good luck and hope he can win the trophy this time," said Sajan.
Lahore Qalandars, who have been part of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and have now dipped their feet in the Abu Dhabi T10, are excited to be a part of it.
We've been involved with cricket for quite some time. The T10 is a wonderful initiative. Bringing Abu Dhabi on board is a big plus. And with new teams coming from Bangladesh and Pakistan, this is now truly a South Asian League," team owner Atif Rana said.
GROUPINGS:Group A: Bangla Tigers, Deccan Gladiators, Delhi Bulls, Karnataka Tuskers
Group B: Lahore Qalandars, Maratha Arabians, Norther Warriors, Team 8