Abu Dhabi: One wasn’t sure whether the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10, in its third edition, will be as popular and exciting as the earlier two editions held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The main concern was about the turnout from fans, while the last minute decision by the Pakistan Cricket Board of not sending their players for the event was also worrying.
However, the response from the fans and the exciting action have wiped away all the scepticism and proved that the shortest format, which was born here and played with international players, is bound to stay.
Speaking to Gulf News, Shaji UL Mulk, the chairman and founder of the Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10, said: “We are excited with the turnout from the fans for the matches — even on a working day. Their loud cheers after turning up in large numbers display the passion that the fans have for this exciting format.”
The organisers, in order to reward the fans, are conducting a daily raffle draw for Dh10,000 each for fans. Syed Hassan Ali, a Pakistan eye specialist, Bilal Hussain, a Pakistani labourer and Sandip Taman, a Nepalese labour have pocketed Dh10,000 each so far.
Most fans come for this format to watch big hits and they have been rewarded with huge sixes. In just 11 matches and four days, the number of sixes crossed the 100 mark with Chris Lynn and Andre Russell leading the tally of sixes with seven each from three matches. If that was not enough for the fans, two matches ended in a nail-biting tie.
Yuvraj to message SRK
Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh never holds back from expressing his views. Soon after his Maratha Arabians teammate Chris Lynn played a knock of 91 to almost become the first century maker of the T10 format, Singh said that Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have committed a big blunder by not retaining Lynn. “Lynn is someone I have seen in the IPL. He has given some great starts to KKR. I really don’t understand how they didn’t retain him. I think that’s a bad call, I must send SRK (Shah Rukh Khan, the franchise owner) a message on that.”
Singh also hinted that he may take up coaching soon. “I haven’t really decided yet if I want to coach or not in the IPL. I’m going to get into it slowly. At the moment, I’m very happy playing leagues outside India. I get to see new countries, play with different players, and there are a lot of leagues coming up in next 2-3 years. So I’m looking forward to playing a few leagues It’s good for me, I play two or three months of cricket rather than the whole year and I can relax for around eight to nine months. I’m enjoying for the next three to year years and then can hopefully get into coaching — which I can continue side by side.
Lynn’s advice to hit ton in T10
Maratha Arabians captain and opener Lynn fell nine runs short of becoming the first century-maker in the T10 format when he remained unbeaten on 91 against Team Abu Dhabi. When asked about what is needed to reach a century based on his experience, he said: “You need to reinvent the way you bat. The players who have done well in this tournament have certainly done that. You want to get to the 100 but the guy at the other end is also hitting boundaries as well. It would have nicer to score the first 100 of the T10 but then that is the way it goes. To try and get there, may be I will get another opportunity to do it.”