Abu Dhabi: New Zealand’s Auckland Aces are the final side to be confirmed for the inaugural Abu Dhabi Twenty20 (T20) cricket tournament, to be held at the Zayed Cricket Stadium next month from October 4-6.
‘The Aces’ will field an opening partnership of Colin Monroe and Martin Guptill as they square up to the world’s best, who are all vying to take home the Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy.
Six sides will take part in total with the Aces joining Pakistan’s Lahore Qalandars, Australia’s Hobart Hurricanes, England’s Yorkshire Vikings, Afghanistan’s Boost Defenders and South Africa’s Multiply Titans.
The Guptill-Monroe partnership brings two of the New Zealand national team’s superstars to the UAE capital. Guptill is one of the biggest names in cricket, being the first Kiwi to score a double century in a one-day international and has the second-highest score of 237 for ODIs in a single innings. Monroe too is a record-holder becoming the first player to score three centuries in T20 internationals when New Zealand beat the West Indies earlier this year.
“The Aces are a team to be reckoned with being the most successful T20 side in New Zealand with four Super Smash wins to their name,” said Aref Al Awani, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council. “We anticipate strong support for the Aces from the sports-mad Kiwi community now resident throughout the UAE and the Gulf,” he added.
Matt Boucher, acting chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Cricket, added: “Confirmation of the Aces is fantastic news. It’s another sporting coup for Abu Dhabi and strengthens the UAE capital’s credentials on the global cricketing stage. The enthusiasm for the trophy from some of the world’s strongest teams is a huge proof point for our ambitions to make Abu Dhabi a name to be reckoned with in the sport, backed up by world class facilities, strong development and committed community support.”
The tournament is expected to run annually until 2020 with over 20,000 expected to fill the stadium for the inaugural edition as well as hundreds of thousands following worldwide. For tickets visit www.abudhabit20.ae