SPO Dasun Shanaka  AND Hasaranga-1663687490523
Dasun Shanaka and Wanindu Hasaranga headline the Chennai Braves and two-time winners Northern Warriors squad in the Abu Dhabi T10 league. Image Credit: Reuters/AP

Abu Dhabi: Cricket’s fastest format will return with a bang this winter with Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Chris Lynn and David Miller all among this year’s Abu Dhabi T10 icon player picks.

Bravo has been retained by Delhi Bulls, while Lynn is top of the billing for host city franchise Team Abu Dhabi. Bangla Tigers have opted for Shakib Al Hasan, Dasun Shanaka headlines the Chennai Braves squad and two-time winners Northern Warriors have kept hold of Wanindu Hasaranga. As for reigning champions Deccan Gladiators, they’ve kept star captain Andre Russell as their icon player ahead of their defence of the trophy.

This year will also see the introduction of two new USA franchises; the New York Strikers and the Morrisville SAMP Army. New York Strikers have gone for Pollard as their icon player, while Morrisville SAMP Army has snapped up Miller.

Tearaway quick

Pollard, one of the most devastating and successful players in the history of white ball cricket, will play alongside England’s 2019 ODI World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan at New York Strikers, who clearly mean business with their top two picks.

Over at Morrisville SAMP Army, recent IPL winner with the Gujarat Titans, Miller, is joined by compatriot and tearaway quick Anrich Nortje as their platinum player, with Moeen Ali and Shimron Hetmyer also signed up.

SPO 220920 SHAKIB-1663687494635
Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan will be leading Bangla Tigers. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Star cast

Shaji Ul Mulk, Chairman T10 Sports Management, said: “We’re proud to assemble this star cast of players as the icon and platinum players for this season and hope to see the fans back into the stadium for the seventh edition of the tournament.”

Ritesh Patel, Owner, Morrisville Samp Army, added: “It is a start of a new and exciting chapter for Samp Army. Abu Dhabi T10 is a unique and a highly competitive competition, which brings together elite players from across the globe.”

Final shape

Season 7 of the Abu Dhabi T10 tees off at the magnificent Zayed Cricket Stadium on November 23, with its final being played on December 4. The initial icon and platinum player picks and retention selections saw plenty more star power added to the eight franchises.

All eight squads will take final shape at the tournament’s 2022 official player draft on September 26 in Abu Dhabi, where each team will be required to select one international emerging player and three UAE players.

The tournament’s format will have each of the eight teams playing each other once — single round robin. The top four qualifying teams will advance to the play-offs, which include to qualifiers and one eliminator to decide the two finalists.