The fourth edition of The Abu Dhabi T10 – the world’s premier ten-over cricket tournament – is set to kickstart on January 28 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium, with eight teams battling it out for 10 days to take home the title.
Heading into the 10-over cricket extravaganza, we take a look at 10 facts you should know about 2020 ADT10.
1. The only ICC-sanctioned T10 tournament in the world
When we say The Abu Dhabi T10 is the premier ten-over cricket competition of the world, we mean it. There are several other ten-over competitions across the world, but none of them have been formally recognised by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the world governing body for cricket. Licensed by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), The Abu Dhabi T10 is the world’s only ten-over cricket tournament officially sanctioned by the ICC.
2. Over 600 players in the draft
The 2020 ADT10 draft, which took place in December, had over 600 cricketers, including global superstars, local heroes, and emerging talents. Out of the 600, 130 went under the hammer after 15 rounds of intense bidding.
3. Cricketers from 14 countries
Like the culture of its host city, The Abu Dhabi T10 has a strong belief in diversity and inclusion, which can be seen in the country-wise representation in the tournament. Global superstars from 14 countries are part of the eight teams this season, including cricketers from Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, UAE, USA, and West Indies.
4. Every team has a World Cup winner
All eight teams participating this season boast at least one T20 World Cup winner in their ranks. The Deccan Gladiators, with West Indians Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Ravindarnath Rampaul, have the most (three) number of world champions, while all other teams have one each.
5. Youngest player is 15 years old
Emerging UAE all-rounder Maroof Merchant, at 15 years of age, is the youngest player to be drafted in 2020 ADT10. The youngster is a part of defending champions Maratha Arabians’ squad and will rub shoulders with veterans Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez, and Laurie Evans. Maroof Merchant bowls leg-spin and is also a potent threat with the bat, even earning praise from former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh.
6. Oldest player is 49 years old
Pravin Tambe, the man who has been defying odds at a ripe age of 49 years, will take the field for Maratha Arabians as the oldest player of this season. A late bloomer, Pravin Tambe brings with him tons of experience of playing cricket across the world, with the best in the business, and will play a vital part in the team’s title defence.
7. Bangla Tigers have the youngest squad
Despite having seasoned veterans in Johnson Charles and Andre Fletcher, the Bangla Tigers have the youngest squad in 2020 ADT10. With an average age of just over 25 years, the Tigers have an exciting squad filled with young talents. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Aryan Lakra, and Afif Hossain are some of the bright prospects of the team, all below the age of 22 years.
8. Six ambidextrous players in this season
Ambidextrous players – who bowl and bat with different hands – have always caught the attention of fans across the world. In 2020 ADT10, we have six ambidextrous players taking the field, the most popular of them being Thisara Perera, the icon player for the Pune Devils, who bats with his left arm but bowls medium-fast with his right. Apart from the six special-skilled cricketers, the majority of other players are right-handers.
9. Delhi Bulls’ Fidel Edwards can bowl a 157.7kph rocket
Delhi Bulls’ Caribbean speedster Fidel Edwards, the fastest bowler this season, is set to wreak havoc with his blistering pace, that has shaken even the world’s most accomplished batsmen. Fidel Edwards bowled his fastest delivery against South Africa in 2003 as he sent down a 157.7 kph thunderbolt. Armed with mean bouncers and sharp swingers, along with his brute pace, the pacer will be raring to strike when Delhi Bulls take the field on January 28.
10. Teams have never defended the title
In the three editions of the tournament, no team has ever succeeded in winning the title in a row. We have had new winners in every season, with Kerala Knights winning the inaugural edition, followed by Northern Warriors in the next. Current champions Maratha Arabians will be on a quest to become the first team to defend the title when they play the 2020 ADT10 season-opener against former champions Northern Warriors.