The Yorkshire County Cricket Club can confirm it is to contest the inaugural Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy at Zayed Cricket Stadium this October.
Six of the greatest T20 teams are set to descend on the UAE capital to vie for the title. A star-studded line up, will see some of the best existing and established teams from the sub-continent, Australia, Africa and the UK gather for the international tournament, which is expected to run annually until 2020
Starting on Thursday, October 4, the tournament will be broadcast live through various channels, as the teams compete in a round-robin stage, with the top two meeting in the final on Sunday, October 6
Other contenders include; 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.
The line-up will see some of the sport’s marquee players take to the Zayed Cricket Stadium pitch. The Boost Defenders have recruited big-hitting batting powerhouse and world-class T20 superstar Chris Gayle; Tymal Mills, the 25-year old English international who’s claimed the title of England’s fastest bowler averaging speeds of around 93mph will don the Hobart Hurricane’s purple; Lahore Qalandars’ Yasir Shah, the Pakistani international who’s the fifth fastest bowler in the history of Test cricket to take 100 wickets with his leg break googlies and Titans’ flashy middle order batsman Farhaan Behardien, who was recently crowned Titans’ T20 Player of the Year and whose team will be led by the experienced South African veteran Albie Morkel – another of the rainbow nation’s strong all-rounders.
An exciting announcement is also imminent about a sixth and final team to round out the competition comprising of some of world cricket’s biggest T20 names.
“Make no mistake, this is a dynamic field of the best of the best,” said His Excellency 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.
“Fans can look forward to three days of thrilling entertainment in what we anticipate will be fiercely fought action to lift the inaugural Abu Dhabi T20 trophy. The tournament will certainly help cement Abu Dhabi’s international sporting credentials, reinforcing its major events hub reputation and expand awareness of our world-class facilities.”
Club CEO Mark Arthur added: “T20 cricket is becoming more and more significant and, certainly in the sub-continent, it’s their favourite format of the game. We want to compete as Yorkshire in all three formats of the game in this country and when you’re presented with the chance of playing against representation from Pakistan, Australia and Afghanistan; it’s a great opportunity.
“The prize money is very meaningful, it is effectively winner takes all and would be the icing on the cake. Some of the younger players, in particular, will learn from the experience and it helps the process that we’re undergoing to maintain our competitiveness in all three formats in 2018.”
The tournament has also won support of global cricket’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC) together with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB).
“All the ingredients are there,” said David East, CEO, Emirates Cricket Board. “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.
The Club’s Director of Cricket, Martyn Moxon, said: “It’s tremendous that we’ve been asked to take part in this. With all 18 First-Class counties available, for us to be asked is a feather in our cap. It gives us the opportunity to pit our wits again some of the best players in the world. It’s similar to the Champions League back in 2012, so we’re all really looking forward to it.
“The way cricket is going, for us to be involved in these tournaments such as this, with our future in mind, is very promising.
“It will be a short trip and we’ll have three days over there to prepare, but it will be very interesting. It will be great to test ourselves against the best in the world.”
Be there to soak up the excitement and the electric Zayed Cricket Stadium atmosphere. The finalised match schedule will be announced following the official draw will be released soon.
The provisional match schedule is as below. Teams will be separated into two pools consisting of three teams each. The winners of each pool will face one another in a straight final.
TBC v TBC – Thursday October 4, 4pm – Zayed Cricket Stadium
TBC v TBC – Thursday October 4, 8pm – Zayed Cricket Stadium
TBC v TBC – Friday October 5, 3pm – Zayed Cricket Stadium
TBC v TBC – Friday October 5, 7pm – Zayed Cricket Stadium
TBC v TBC – Saturday October 6, 11am – Zayed Cricket Stadium
TBC v TBC – Saturday October 6, 3pm – Zayed Cricket Stadium
Finalist 1 v Finalist 2 – Saturday October 6, 8pm – Zayed Cricket Stadium
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