Source | Emirates News Agency Mar 18, 2019
ABU DHABI, 18th March, 2019 (WAM) — Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, will be the new home of T10 cricket for the next five years, starting with the 2019 season.
Abu Dhabi Cricket, ADC, in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council, ADSC, and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has signed a five-year agreement with the organisers of the T10 Cricket League. The shortest form of the game will now be played exclusively at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
To announce the arrival of this exciting new inter-governmental partnership, ADC, ADSC and DCT Abu Dhabi organised a T10 match on the seafront of Abu Dhabi’s iconic Corniche, with T10 aces Colin Ingram, Andre Fletcher and Luke Ronchi having a bat on the beach.
Saif Saeed Ghobash, Under-Secretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “This announcement is fantastic news for Abu Dhabi. Our city is a major global hub with a huge variety of attractions that cater to people of all ages and backgrounds, and the T10 tournament’s presence in the city for the next five years represents an exciting opportunity to attract even more visitors from around the globe, especially those from India who represent one of DCT Abu Dhabi’s key markets.
“T10 is fast, punchy, exciting cricket, making it perfect viewing for those of us living in the UAE,” said Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council. “The decision to host T10 in Abu Dhabi is a fitting demonstration of our strategic investments in sporting infrastructure, such as training facilities and match stadiums which we have been making over recent years. T10 will bring the latest edge to a city known for its sporting credentials, from Formula 1 to the AFC Asian Cup and the Special Olympics World Games.
T10, in which only 120 balls are played in a fast-paced 90-minute game, was first introduced to the UAE in 2017. With eight squads vying for victory in games with an explosive pace, players featured have included Chris Gayle, Shoaib Malik, Shane Watson and Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.
Shaji Ul Mulk, Innovator and Chairman of the T10 League, said, “T10 has landed onto the global cricket scene, and this combined partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council, DCT Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Cricket gives T10 a major boost in establishing itself as a credible international form of the game. We are very pleased to be moving to Zayed Cricket Stadium, as we take one of the world’s most exciting sporting cities by storm. The third season of T10 cricket will allow over 100,000 fans the chance to see some of the biggest names in cricket battle it out on the pitch over 90 fast minutes of action.
“My thanks to both ADSC and DCT Abu Dhabi for their support of the T10 league. I am excited to see the tournament in its new home of Abu Dhabi, cementing the city’s reputation as a central destination for cricket lovers worldwide.”
Matt Boucher, the acting CEO of Abu Dhabi Cricket, said, “Zayed Cricket Stadium has been a fulcrum for the city’s sporting life, from providing high-quality sports tuition right through to the very best first-class international cricket. This agreement is the perfect private-public partnership for a major sporting event, and you will not find one much bigger than the T10 in the UAE.
“This move to Zayed Cricket Stadium represents a big next step in the growth of Abu Dhabi’s cricketing ecosystem, by giving fans access to a combined sports and entertainment offering through hosting all forms of the game. Whether its international Test matches or the now shortest form of cricket the game has to offer, we are continuing to be the home of the sport in the UAE.
Australian cricketing legend, Shane Watson, who captains the Karachians, said, “T10 is one of the fastest evolving forms of cricket, and fans obviously love it. The move of the league to Abu Dhabi is a great idea – the pitches in Abu Dhabi are beautifully maintained, and as I have mentioned before, the conditions are the closest to those in Australia. I cannot wait for T10 and November cannot come quickly enough.”
South African cricketer Colin Ingram, who plays for Pakhtoon, said, “T10 is the cutting edge of the sport; the games are fiery, fast and furious as we battle it out in the middle in a quick hour and a half. It has been great to be part of the league to this part, and I cannot wait to be back playing again in the new home of T10 Cricket at Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi.”
Fellow Pakhtoon teammate and West Indies player, Andre Fletcher, said, “T10 Cricket is a sport like no other, and it is a great new format of the game to be able to play. Playing in Abu Dhabi is going to be really exciting, especially as this is one of the top sporting destinations in the Middle East, so I cannot wait to see fans who are both local and international coming to Zayed Cricket Stadium and getting involved with all the action.”
Luke Ronchi, the New Zealand cricketer who plays for Punjabi Legends, commented, “Having had the recent pleasure of playing in Abu Dhabi for the Pakistan Super League, I cannot wait to be back at one of the best stadiums in the UAE. The quality of cricket in this country is superb, and T10 is the latest proof of that.”
The first match of the T10 League will be played on 23rd October, 2019.