BIG NAME STARS UNVEILED AT THRILLING PLAYER DRAFT
MOHAMMAD AMIR SELECTED AS NO.1 PICK OF TOURNAMENT
MALINGA JOINS MARATHA ARABIANS, POLLARD TO PLAY FOR DECCAN GLADIATORS, AND HAFEEZ JOINS TEAMMATE AFRIDI AT QALANDARS TEAM ABU DHABI ENTER THE TOURNAMENT AS FIRST REPRESENTATIVE FRANCHISE TEAM
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 17 October 2019:The players who are set to light up Zayed Cricket Stadium for the inaugural Abu Dhabi T10 were locked into place at a glittering ceremony last night. The annual player draft in the nation’s capital saw 110 players allocated to eight teams, as well as a host of superstars unveiled for the first time.
The drama-filled event allowed franchises just three minutes to select the players that would make or break their teams’ success in the showpiece 10-day tournament. With big name cricketers up for grabs such as Mohammed Hafeez, Kieron Pollard, Shoaib Malik and Adil Rashid, tension crackled as players were snapped up by the franchises.
Speaking on the side-lines of the draft, CEO of Abu Dhabi Cricket, Matthew Boucher, said: “It has been an electrifying evening filled with a lot of anticipation and excitement. The teams had to make quick and snappy decisions about who they feel could steer their team to glory next month, and there have been some closely guarded strategies across the course of the night.
“The lists of names have now grown into some formidable team sheets, and with everything now assembled, we can’t wait to experience the drama and passion of T10 cricket with local fans and those around the world.”
Defending champions Northern Warriors opted for a strong West Indies side in the draw, with Darren Sammy already confirmed as the team’s icon player. The famed Andre Russell joined Sammy with three other of his compatriots, bringing the West Indies’ contingent of the team to five. Pakistan’s Wahab Riaz’s expertise was brought on board thanks to his fast-paced bowling, as part of a line-up focused on providing speedy deliveries. The Northern Warriors will begin their title defence against the Maratha Arabians on November 15.
The newest addition to the Abu Dhabi T10 tournament, Team Abu Dhabi, made some well strategized decisions during the draft, placing an emphasis on a strong bowling side. With Moeen Ali already selected as the team’s icon player, the team had successful coups with Sri Lankan powerhouse Niroshan Dickwella, Kiwi all-rounder Corey Anderson, and left-handed fast bowler Mohammad Amir. The team will present a stiff bowling line-up for its opponents.
Revealed as the mystery eighth team, Team Abu Dhabi is supported by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and will be trained by former England coach, Trevor Bayliss, and coach of the UAE National Cricket Team, Dougie Brown.
The Maratha Arabians chose a balanced team, opting for a mixture of a fast bowling attack and a strong batting line-up. With icon player and right-handed big hitter Chris Lynn at the helm, the team brought in the iconic Lasith Malinga in the first round of draws, ensuring the team would garner a strong following with Sri Lankan fans. West Indies heroes Dwayne Bravo and Chadwick Walton were brought on board, bringing a strong and diverse team to the table.
The West Indies all-rounder, Kieron Pollard, was quickly snapped up by the Deccan Gladiators. With Shane Watson as the icon player, the Gladiators favoured a team that was strongly led by all-rounders, with five eventually making it into the team. With a bowling line-up that mixed experience in the shape of Fawad Ahmed and the UAE’s Zahoor Khan with young talent such as England’s Mason Crane, the Deccan Gladiators adopted a varied line-up, allowing the team flexibility as they build up for the showpiece event.
The Gladiators’ first opponent on November 15 will be the Delhi Bulls, led by world-cup winning captain, Eoin Morgan. The Bulls pulled in former Pakistan captain, Shoaib Malik, to further buoy their strong batting line-up, which also includes Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi, Sri Lanka’s Kusal Perera, and Pakistan’s Aamer Yamin. England’s leg-spinning magician, Adil Rashid, was chosen to lead the bowling, which contains a variety of pace and spin. The team chose players from all corners of the globe, including Irishman Paul Sterling, the Dutchman Tobias Visee, and American Ali Khan, presenting a team with a strong mix of both batting power and bowling talent.
Shahid Afridi was joined by his fellow Pakistani teammate, as Team Qalandars opted to bring in “The Professor” with Mohammad Hafeez. Hafeez and Afridi joined a team comprised of 10 Pakistani players, with Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf also entering the fray. The team presents a bombastic batting line-up, capable of smashing balls far beyond the boundaries of Zayed Cricket Stadium, and setting high targets for teams to chase. Chris Jordan will bring his skills with the ball to a bowling squad comprised of both spin and speed. Tickets will be scarce when Team Qalandars meet Team Abu Dhabi on the opening night of the Abu Dhabi T10 on November 15.
Similar to Team Qalandars, the Bangla Tigers opted to focus on big hitting as their strategy for a chance to clutch the Abu Dhabi T10 Trophy, bringing in 12 players with impressive batting skills. Former limited overs captain, Sri Lankan Thisara Perera, serves as the team’s icon player, and will be joined by names such as West Indies’ Andre Fletcher and South Africa’s Colin Ingram. The Tigers’ batsmen will be looking to pounce against the Deccan Gladiators in their first match of the tournament on November 16.
The Karnataka Tuskers took the opposite strategic tactic to the Tigers, opting for a team that places a heavy emphasis on a predominantly speedy bowling line-up. With icon player and big hitter Hashim Amla in attendance at the draw, the Tuskers brought on bowlers such as Nepalese Sandeep Lamichhane, promising English talent Pat Brown, and the slow-left orthodox Emirati player, Ahmed Raza. With batsmen joining Hashim at the crease including Evin Lewis and Johnson Charles, the Tuskers made sure they also had a strong batting powerhouse to provide stability in a format that can twist at each and every turn.
Tickets for the Abu Dhabi T10 start from the special price of AED 10, and will allow spectators to watch up to three matches a day. To book tickets, or to receive hospitality information, please visit: https://www.q-tickets.com/abudhabit10
About Abu Dhabi T10 League
Abu Dhabi T10 is a professional ten-over format cricket league launched by T10 Sports Management and licensed by the Emirates Cricket Board and approved by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the governing body of international cricket. It is the first ever internationally approved ten-over format league.
Matches have 10-over-a-side format and duration of 45 minutes a side, totalling 90 minutes of play. The tournament is played over ten days, with a round robin followed by semi-finals and the final. In August 2018, the International Cricket Council (ICC) officially sanctioned the league.
About Abu Dhabi Cricket
Abu Dhabi Cricket (ADC) is supported by Abu Dhabi Sports Council and operates under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Bin Mubarak Al Nahayan.
ADC is ushering in an exciting new era of cricket in Abu Dhabi with significant investment in facilities and operational upgrades. In addition to the iconic Zayed Cricket Stadium the venue now boasts the following impressive facilities: 2 x floodlit nursery cricket ovals, international standard cricket nets facility, 4 x floodlit netball courts, 5-a-side “Soccer City”, 4 x multi-purpose floodlit astro-turf pitches and 5 x FIFA approved grass, floodlit football pitches.
ADC was founded on 20th November 1996, with the impressive Zayed Cricket Stadium, considered among the world’s best, being completed in 2005. The Stadium’s inaugural international match was staged between India and Pakistan in April 2006 and was attended by 20,000 enthusiastic fans.
Zayed Cricket Stadium has hosted a plethora of domestic and international matches since that day. The electric atmosphere of the Pakistan vs. India match was rivalled when the Indian Premier League arrived in 2014.
2018 saw the stadium’s biggest season to date with over 75,000 fans flooding the stands throughout the 2018 ACC Asia Cup, Pakistan vs. Australia series, Pakistan vs. New Zealand series and of course the inaugural Abu Dhabi T20 – during which six of the world’s biggest T20 franchises descended upon the UAE capital to vie for championship honours.
Though cricket is at the core of operations, ADC also prides itself on the world class facilities available, catering to sportsmen and women of all ages and abilities from elite international players to community sports enthusiasts.
In addition to the international cricket season that was, ADC has also welcomed and hosted the likes of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) England Lions for their 2018 tour of the UAE, New Zealand’s All Black 7s and Black Fern 7s rugby teams ahead of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby 7s (of which both teams emerged champions) and Japan, Oman, Syria, China, Yemen, Iran, Thailand, India and South Korea’s football training camps ahead of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
The facility has also been used by several other international associations as a winter training destination, most notably many professional English County teams who return year after year for their pre-season camps.
The recent investments to develop the facility have truly ensured that ADC is known for more than cricket. Indeed, Abu Dhabi Cricket has become the home for a range of coaching academies, clubs, groups and schools for football, touch rugby, netball, basketball, squash and much more.