Dubai: The Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10, to commence on Thursday, is set to become a bigger and stronger contest this year. Hundreds of limited-overs exponents have flown in for this shortest format, which will be held for the first time at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Carrying the popularity that it had gained from first two editions at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, this T10 tournament, which has won the hearts of cricket lovers around the world, is expected to produce exhilarating stuff with stars like England’s 2019 World Cup winning captain Eoin Morgan, India’s 2011 World Cup heroes Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan, Pakistan’s evergreen hero Shahid Afridi, Australia’s all-rounder Shane Watson and West Indies entertainer Darren Sammy in the fray.
Speaking to Gulf News amid his busy schedule of giving finishing touches for a smooth conduct of the tournament, Shaji Ul Mulk, Chairman and Founder of this tournament, said: “From this year’s T10, the fans can expect highest quality of cricket ever in the shorter version of the game. There is a very large assembly of world-class cricketers here, nearly hundreds of them, and they will produce intense cricket during the coming days.”
Shaji feels that the quality of cricket will be top class as the players picked to play in this tournament are those who created an impact at the biggest stages. “Yuvraj Singh coming into the league is like an icing on the cake. Zaheer Khan is already here and all top players in the world are working hard to give their best for their franchises,” added Shaji.
“Moreover, the hype and excitement this year will be much higher than what we ever had during the last two years. Since the matches are being held at the magnificent Zayed Cricket Stadium, it will add to the glamour. Teams can train and prepare at the adjacent Oval ground and walk in for the matches,“ said Shaji, who along with his team has ensured to get the best of celebrities for the opening ceremony, commencing at 7pm.
“We have lined up celebrities like Mammootty, Pakistani musician Atif Aslam, Bollywood actress Rakul Preet Singh and many more. The whole of Abu Dhabi is vibrant with thousands of tourists flying in and almost all hotels in Abu Dhabi getting sold out,” he said.
“This tournament is very good for the game in many ways. This type of tournament makes spotting of talent easier. Moreover, shorter the game is going to be better for the growth of the game. I feel the reach and the growth of the game can happen quicker globally through such formats,” Zaheer Khan told Gulf News.
Angelo Mathews said: “This is my first time I am playing in T10 format and I am very much looking forward to it. I have lot of experience playing in T20 internationals and also in Indian Premier League and Sri Lanka Premier League. Though I have a lot of experience, this is a whole new format and hence will be a special experience.”
Yuvraj Singh said in a message: “T10 suits my character and style of play. It will be my T10 debut but with the support of the passionate cricket fans, I look forward to give my best.”
The 2019 World Cup wining captain Morgan summed up the expectations for T10 saying: “It’s the shortest format of cricket and the most exciting. The potential that this format and the league has is astronomical. Its unique and eight teams play a tournament in just 10 days to find the winner will be special.”
4.30pm Maratha Arabians v Northern Warriors
6.45pm Deccan Gladiators v Delhi Bulls
9pm Team Abu Dhabi v Qalandars
4.30pm Deccan Gladiators v Bangla Tigers
6.45pm Karnataka Tuskers v Delhi Bulls
9pm Northern Warriors v Qalandars
4.30pm Northern Warriors v Team Abu Dhabi
6.45pm Bangla Tigers v Karnataka Tuskers
9pm Qalandars v Maratha Arabians
4.30pm Deccan Gladiators v Karnataka Tuskers
6.45pm Team Abu Dhabi v Maratha Arabians
9pm Delhi Bulls v Bangla Tigers
4.30pm Group A1 v Group B2
6.45pm A3 v B4
9pm A2 v B3
4.30pm A4 v B1
6.45pm A2 v B4
9pm A1 v B3
4.30pm A3 v B1
6.45pm A4 v B2
9pm A1 v B4
4.30pm A3 v B2
6.45pm A2 v B1
9pm A4 v B3
4.30pm Qualifier: 1st v 2nd
6.45pm Eliminator: 3rd v 4th
9pm Eliminator 2: Runner Match 25 v Winner match 26
5.45pm 3rd Position: runner up match 26 v Runner up match 27
8pm Final: Winner match 25 v Winner match 27