Abu Dhabi: The ‘Universal Boss’ Chris Gayle will be among the star-studded line-up descending on the capital to take part in the inaugural Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy at Zayed Cricket Stadium from October 4-6.
The tournament held by Abu Dhabi Cricket (ADC), under the auspices of Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), will see six of the world’s best teams from the subcontinent, Australia, Africa and the UK.
The contenders include Yorkshire Vikings, the T20 team of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, the most successful team in English cricketing history; Afghanistan’s first-class Boost Defenders, who, bearing the historic name of Lashkargah city carry the honour of Helmand Province on their shoulders; Tasmania’s ‘Purple Army,’ the Hobart Hurricanes, who hold the three highest run chases in Australia’s Big Bash domestic T20 league; the Lahore Qalandars, a mainstay of the Pakistan Super League and the second most expensive franchise in limited overs history and the Multiply Titans, South Africa’s most award-winning and successful domestic franchise.
Apart from Gayle, who will be figuring for Boost Defenders, other marquee players include England’s Tymal Mills, Gary Ballance, Pakistan’s ace spinner Yasir Shah, South Africa’s Farhaan Behardien and Albie Morkel.
Mills, the 25-year-old English international, will don the Hobart Hurricane’s purple, while Ballance, the striking left hander, will play for his county team Yorkshire. Flashy middle order batsman Behardien will be under the captaincy of the experienced South African veteran Albie Morkel at the Titans.
“Make no mistake, this a dynamic field of the best of the best,” said Aref Al Awani, General Secretary, ADSC. “With this level of player power, the tournament allows Abu Dhabi to deliver on our mandate of ushering in an exciting new era of cricket in the emirate.
The tournament has also won support of global cricket’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC) together with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB).
Tickets and hospitality packages are available, with general admission tickets starting from just AED25 and are available through Ticketmaster.ae, from Virgin Megastores and the Zayed Cricket Stadium box office.
“All the ingredients are there,” said David East, ECB’s CEO. “The ever-improving facilities, the fan base, the support of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and ADC’s proven organisational expertise in world-class events all set the scene for a wonderful event which we hope to see expand annually.”
Each day of the three-day tournament is expected to see over 20,000 fans fill the rafters of the iconic Zayed Cricket Stadium, closely followed by millions worldwide through various broadcast channels.