Dubai: The Abu Dhabi T10 cricket league to be held from November 14 will have a new team called Bangla Tigers, which will attract Bangladesh fans and bring them to the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. It will also encourage millions of fans in Bangladesh to watch the T10 league, which is the shortest format in the game, and which will stage its third edition with top Bangladesh stars.
Announcing the entry of the new team, Shaji Ul Mulk, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi T10 league, said: “We are delighted to welcome aboard Bangla Tigers. The Bengal Tigers owned by Danube, which played in our earlier editions have changed their name to Delhi Bulls. This gave us an opportunity to usher in a team with focus on Bangladesh players. Bangla Tigers will represent the best spirit of Bangladesh cricket.”
Yasin Chowdhury, the owner of the team along with co-owner Sirajuddin Alam, signed the deal of participation with Ul Mulk during the press conference. “It is a proud day for us to get an opportunity to participate in a popular tournament like T10. We hope the large number of Bangladesh expat community here will come out and encourage our team. We are hoping to bring at least five top Bangladesh national team players to play in this tournament. We pledge to give our best and compete in this league,” said Chowdhury, who is also the chairman of FMC Group.
Alam, who is the founding secretary of the Bangladesh Premier League and former director of Bangladesh Cricket Board and one-time General Secretary of the Chittagong Divisional Sports Association, said: “We are working to build a formidable team in which a number of Bangladeshi cricketers are expected to play. There are over 700,000 Bangladeshi residents in UAE and we plan to involve every Bangladesh fans to come and support our team. We would like a full stadium of Bangladesh fans cheering for the team.”
Incidentally, Bangladeshis make up the third largest expatriate community in the UAE.
The ten-day Abu Dhabi T10 opens with a star-studded opening day performance involving Bollywood entertainers on November 14 with the final to be held on November 24. The first two editions of the T10 league drew sold-out crowds at Sharjah Cricket Stadium and was watched by millions of fans across the GCC, India and South Asia.