“I believe T10 is the next big thing in cricket.”
These are the words of Malay Desai, a renowned Indian journalist and writer. In fact, he is not the only one who thinks the 10-over format is here to stay for good.
T10 might be cricket’s newest format but it has already found backers from various walks of life. From journalists to musicians, 10-over cricket is becoming a rage among new fans across the world.
With matches ending in just 90 minutes, it’s an on-the-go entertainment option for some, while some believe it will give rise to innovations in cricket.
“The best part about T10 is that you don’t have to spend hours to watch the entire match,” said DJ Spin Doctor, a doctor, a turntablist, and a diehard cricket fan.
“I’m a huge cricket fan, I sometimes check scores even during my gigs,” he chuckled. “But with T10, I can watch the entire game and go back to work in less than two hours.”
Ten-over cricket is new to the international stage but has its roots in the streets and, for many, it was one of the most popular ways of playing cricket during childhood.
“I have played 10 over matches in gully cricket and I can already relate but Abu Dhabi T10 looks a lot more professional than when I played. I had a few bricks to stand for stumps (laughs),” said D’evil, a popular hip-hop artist and a part of the famed Gully Gang entertainment venture led by star Divine.
From street cricket to international matches, the evolution of the sport in the last two decades has brought about changes at every level. The most striking of which is the emergence of unconventional cricket shots at the highest level.
Gone are to days of square cuts and cover drives, according to cricket expert Nikhil Popat. The classic shots will still be there but the demand for unorthodox shots to take the opposition by surprise will lead to innovation.
“T10 will lead to innovation of new shots and techniques, like how T20 gave us the reverse scoop and reverse sweep. There’s very little time to settle down so batsmen will have to think of new ways to score big and score quick,” explained Nikhil Popat, who is also a Twitter influencer.
“The same applies to bowlers too. They’ll need plenty of variations to keep the batsmen guessing.”
Spearheading the way for such innovations is The Abu Dhabi T10, which is the world’s only ten-over cricket tournament to be sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Licensed by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), the tournament features some of the finest stars of the sport and has reached cricket fans across the globe.
“The Abu Dhabi T10 with its stars such as Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, and Dwayne Bravo looks like a good launchpad for the format,” reckoned Malay Desai.
The latest edition of The Abu Dhabi T10 starts on January 28 at Zayed Cricket Stadium, with eight teams playing 29 high-octane matches in a span of 10 days.