Abu Dhabi, Aug 7 (IANS) After a scintillating World Cup 2019, global cricket fever is set to sweep the UAE as a sensational roster of cricket superstars prepare to take the pitch at the Zayed Cricket Stadium for the Abu Dhabi T10 League from November 15 to 24.
The third season of the T10 League will be headlined by several international cricket captains and newly minted World Cup heroes. The star-studded line-up is set to include Eoin Morgan, Shoaib Malik, Darren Sammy, Angelo Mathews, Lasith Malinga, Shane Watson and Cameron White, Mohammad Shahzad, Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo — all putting their hands up for team selection in the 2019 Abu Dhabi T10 draft.
Commenting on the league, Morgan said: “I heard from a lot of parents that this year’s (ICC World Cup) was the first one they could enjoy with their sons or daughters. Kids are discovering the joy of cricket all over again. Well, the T10 is brilliant for bringing kids and first-time fans into the stadium, where you’ve got all the stars, all the action and all the glamour you could hope for. It’s just brilliant for the future of cricket all around.”
Former West Indies captain Sammy shared a similarly positive outlook towards the tournament and its new home.
“Abu Dhabi is a fantastic choice to host the T10. There’s a mixed audience with plenty of support for cricket. Everything is top-class, so I’ve no doubt the Abu Dhabi T10 will be a smashing success,” he said.
The 10-over format boils down all of the cricket tactics and drama into 60 balls per side and 90 minutes of action. This fan-friendly version of cricket is the brainchild of T10 Sports Management Group Founder and Chairman Shaji Ul Mulk.
“The game is changing as evidenced by the phenomenal success of T20,” said Mulk.
“This recent World Cup was also the most-watched ever. However, in order to continue to grow, it’s critical to showcase the best stars on big stages outside India, England and Australia, where it is already hugely popular.”
Even more players and big-names will continue to be announced in the lead up to the Abu Dhabi T10 draft event, scheduled for mid-September.
Matches have 10-over-a-side format and duration of 45 minutes a side totalling 90 minutes of play. The tournament is played over ten days, with a round-robin followed by semi-finals and the final.
The 2017 edition was played from 14-17 December at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. In August 2018, the ICC officially sanctioned the league.
The second season of the league added two more teams to expand the tournament. As a result, the T10 League expanded to 29 matches spread across 10 days.