It’s that time of the year when cricket’s greatest stars get ready to fight it out in the shortest format of the game in the UAE. The T10 Cricket League will be hosted at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi from 14 to 24 November 2019.
The T10 format is the latest innovation in cricket and has steadily gained popularity with each event. The first season of the T10 Cricket League was held in Sharjah Cricket Stadium in 2017 while matches were shared between Sharjah and Dubai in Season two.
Now, for the third season, the league ventures out to the capital city of Abu Dhabi. The good news for cricket fans in the capital city is that this won’t be a one-off. A five-year hosting rights deal has been signed between the League and Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC).
All about the Abu Dhabi T10 League
The league management has been releasing information slowly as they build-up to the tournament. In this blog, we recap what we know so far including the player participation, groups, franchise changes and partnerships.
Cricket’s Global Superstars all set to dazzle crowds in Abu Dhabi
Like every year the megastars of world cricket will light up the tournament with their presence.
Shahid Afridi will represent one of the most popular franchise clubs in the world, Qalandars (Lahore Qalandars). Fans can witness the power-hitting by England’s World Cup-winning captain, Eoin Morgan. The burly Aussie Shane Watson will play also one of his last franchise tournaments in your city.
Moreover, to the delight of fans of the Indian Cricket team, legendary fast bowler Zaheer Khan will take part in the tournament. Sources also confirm that all-rounders Yuvraj Singh and Irfan Pathan are also close to signing deals. Indian players aren’t allowed to play in foreign leagues but it seems like the fans of T10 Cricket League will have that privilege this year. As per the latest reports, there will be close to 10 Indian players participating at the Abu Dhabi T10 League.
Team Groups in the T10 League Abu Dhabi 2019
The stunning Championship Trophy and team logos were unveiled in a glamorous ceremony. On the occasion of the announcement, the President of the League Mr Shaji ul Mulk was hopeful that fans will get to see some thrilling cricket as the top cricketers from the world go head to head in the ultimate short-format clash.
“We have the best cricketers from around the world that will be contesting in this league and hence all the matches will be closely contested,” he said. “The draw has set the stage for an exciting third edition.”
Two years ago, the T10 Cricket League started with just five teams. The fact that there are eight teams now is a testament to the popularity of the league.
Lahore Qalandars owned by the flamboyant Fawad Chaudhry, have also decided to field a team in the league for 2019. As expected, he made a big splash by signing Shahid Afridi, the face of short-format cricket for the longest time.
Bangla Tigers is another new team that has been included in the league. The franchise is owned by Yasin Chowdhury and Shirazuddin Alam.
The eight participating teams have been divided into two groups.
- Bangla Tigers
- Deccan Gladiators
- Delhi Bulls
- Karnataka Tuskers
- Northern Warriors
- Maratha Arabians
- Abu Dhabi
There are some changes to the teams from last year. Kerala Knights will play as Gujarati Panthers, Bengal Tigers as Delhi Bulls and Rajputs as Karnataka Tuskers. Two teams from last year – Pakhtoons and Punjab have bowed out of the tournament. Bangla Tigers and Qalandars will replace them.
Players Draft 2019
The pre-tournament draft took place amidst much fanfare and celebration. We saw a host of big-name players and impressive signings being made. These are in addition to the players already on the team rosters.
Each team was given three minutes to pick a player per round in the draft. Much deliberation had taken place in advance; however, we did see urgent and at times animated discussions at the strategy tables. Teams have now taken shape, so coaches can decide on the permutations and combinations for the tournament.
Players were to be picked in the following categories:
- One Icon Player at $60,000
- Three category ‘A’ players at $45,000
- Three category B players at $30,000
- Two category ‘C’ players at $20,000
- Two UAE residents at $10,000
- Two emerging talent players at $10,000
The eye-catching picks from the draft are as follows:
Abu Dhabi: Mohammad Amir, Rohan Mustafa, Harry Gurney, Lewis Gregory, Ben Laughlin, Luke Wright, Corey Anderson and Niroshan Dickwella.
Bangla Tigers: Colin Ingram, Rilee Rossouw, James Faulkner, Andre Fletcher and Chirag Suri.
Northern Warriors: Sam Billings, Lendl Simmons, Wahab Riaz, Chris Green and Rayad Emrit
Deccan Gladiators: Kieron Pollard, Tymal Mills, Anton Devcich, Zahir Khan and Mohammad Shahzad.
Karnataka Tuskers: Sandeep Lamichhane, Pat Brown. Hashim Amla, Johnson Charles, Evin Lewis and Kesrick Williams.
Delhi Bulls: Shoaib Malik, Sohail Tanvir, Adil Rashid, Mohammad Nabi, Kusal Perera and Mohammad Hasnain.
Lahore Qalandars: Luke Ronchi, Chris Jordan Tom Banton, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf and Haris Rauf.
Maratha Arabians: Mohammad Irfan, Chadwick Walton, Dasun Shanaka and Shiraz Ahmed
The signing of these world-class players will certainly make the tournament interesting. Soon all cricket fans will be glued to the TVs screen to see their favourite cricketers perform.
Changes to playing conditions
This year the T10 Cricket League will see the use of umpires’ decision review system. This will help in the reduction of any on-field umpiring errors.
Abu Dhabi T10 League Schedule 2019
Abu Dhabi T10 League Schedule will be announced soon. This will be a 10-day tournament starting from 14 November 2019 with Northern Warriors defending their title.
Mr Shaji ul Mulk also announced that the league is officially supported by the government of Abu Dhabi. This is a historic achievement for the league as no other cricket tournaments have been backed by the government before.
“We are proud of the fact that this is the first time ever the government is backing cricket. Earlier, we had seen governments backing many sports like racing and tennis, but, for the first time, cricket is being backed by the government,” said Mulk.
The involvement of the government shows that there is a real interest in the T10 Cricket League in Abu Dhabi and there is a lot of potential for growth. It could be used as a tool to introduce cricket to even locals, who might not be interested in the longer formats of the game. Moreover, there has been some talk of pitching T10 Cricket for entry in the Olympics.
This year the league has tried to expand into the Indian market. The introduction of legendary Indian players certainly will help. Furthermore, the TV broadcaster will air these matches on four channels. Various OTP platforms from India have also come on board to stream matches live. Hence, fans in India have easy access to match coverage.
The T10 Cricket League 2019 will definitely introduce new fans to the sport. The T10 cricket league tickets booking will start soon on the official website. If watching these legends perform live motivates your son or daughter to take up cricket, they can join cricket academies in Dubai. If they would rather follow in the footsteps of the inimitable Federer or Serena Williams, you can take them to top tennis courts in Dubai.
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