Abu Dhabi Cricket (ADC), the UAE capital’s distinguished multi-purpose sports facility, has entered the challenging 2020/21 season record books having hosted more ICC-approved international matches than any other global operation, further cementing its standing as a world-leading cricket venue.
Over the 11-month season, ADC hosted 81 ICC-approved international matches, and, with the support of the Emirates Cricket Board, the UAE hosted a total of 123 matches – a combined tally unsurpassed by any other nation.
With rigorous COVID-19 prevention protocols in place, in partnership with the National Crisis & Emergency Management Authority, Department of Health Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and with the support of the Department of Culture & Tourism - Abu Dhabi, ADC hosted the Dream 11 Indian Premier League 2020, the Alubond Abu Dhabi T10, HBL Pakistan Super League 6 and international teams Afghanistan, Ireland, UAE, and Zimbabwe across Test, One Day Internationals, T20s and T10 formats.
Throughout the season, ADC accumulated impressive results across the game’s four formats including:
- 244 practice sessions
- 81 matches
- 22,278 runs
- 2,229 fours
- 959 sixes
- 904 wickets
- 554 catches
- 103 fifties
- 26 teams
- 15 countries
- 10 centuries
ADC rose to the global COVID-19 pandemic challenges by supporting international federations such as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) through its highly effective and successful Covid-secure response which enabled the state-of-the-art facility to continue to take world-class cricket to the sport’s vast global fan community.
His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and Chairman of both the Emirates Cricket Board and Abu Dhabi Cricket Club, commented:
“The hosting of such a large amount of cricket in the context of the pandemic is testament to the UAE’s leadership in the hosting and organising of high calibre, global tournaments. Abu Dhabi Cricket has further bolstered the UAE capital’s flourishing reputation as an unmissable cricketing destination this season.”
HE Sheikh Nahayan said the record-breaking hosting against the backdrop of testing times also illustrated the deeply rooted value of tolerance shared by the UAE and cricket.
“The sport, like our nation, epitomizes the melting pot of the richness and diversity of our world’s cultures. I am gratified that we have acted in harmony and unity with our global friends and colleagues to proffer a pillar of support to international cricket this season,” he said.
“I would like to thank all government entities and parties involved for their tireless efforts and diligence in applying the highest global safety standards to ensure that all matches, tournaments and training sessions took place in a safe and bio-secure environment.”
His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council stated: “Abu Dhabi Cricket’s historic, record-setting year demonstrates how fully cricket is now integrated into Abu Dhabi’s thriving sports calendar; from the fast-paced Abu Dhabi T10 to the exciting drama of international test matches, cricket now takes centre stage with a burgeoning audience.”
Matt Boucher, CEO of Abu Dhabi Cricket: “It is with immense gratitude that I thank the team at Abu Dhabi Cricket and the Government stakeholders including Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Abu Dhabi Police, Department of Culture & Tourism – Abu Dhabi, Department of Health – Abu Dhabi and the National Crisis & Emergency Management Authority for spearheading our strategic and collaborative response to the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented, which resulted in such great success.”
The ground-breaking season included the following highlights:
Dream11 Indian Premier League (IPL)
From September 19 - November 10, 2020 ADC hosted the IPL for the second time in the tournament’s history, with 22 of the 60 games in the 13th edition of the wildly popular and highly prestigious tournament being played at Zayed Cricket Stadium, including the opening match.
Cricketing superstars such as Virat Kohli, Ben Stokes and MS Dhoni lived up to their awe-inspiring reputations in their performances. Tournament Champions, Mumbai Indians and the highly popular Kolkata Knight Riders made Abu Dhabi their home throughout the tournament, using ADC as their hub for preparations and training.
Sky247.net Abu Dhabi UAE v Ireland ODI Series
The IPL was followed by the UAE v Ireland ODI series, an exciting match up for the teams as they returned to international cricket for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. The home team stormed to an emphatic victory in the first ODI, however Ireland managed to level the score with spinner Simranjit Singh recording career best figures to lead Ireland to a comprehensive victory in the second ODI.
Kardan University Afghanistan v Ireland ODI Series
The Afghanistan v Ireland ODI series was hosted throughout January 2021. Afghanistan’s exciting young talent, Rahmanullah Gurbaz made an outstanding maiden ODI century on his debut in the series’ opening match. Gurbaz’s performance set the tone for the remainder of the series, as Afghanistan claimed a clean sweep and were named series’ champions despite an impressive knock of 128 from Ireland’s Paul Stirling in the third and final match.
Alubond Abu Dhabi T10
January 28 saw the return of ‘Cricket’s Fastest Format’, the Alubond Abu Dhabi T10. The fast paced and high energy tournament was conducted over ten days, with the eight teams, each stacked with emerging talent and international superstars, attracting global TV audiences of over 100 million.
The Northern Warriors, led by West Indian star Nicholas Pooran, were crowned Champions after defeating Dwayne Bravo's Delhi Bulls by eight wickets in the final held on Saturday February 6, 2021.
Abu Dhabi Sunshine Series 2021
ADC’s international bilateral season closed in March with the Afghanistan v Zimbabwe Test & T20i series. The teams shared the Test Series trophy with Zimbabwe’s Sean Williams named Player of the Series, smashing a total of 264 off 500 balls over three matches. However, Afghanistan claimed a clean sweep over the T20i format, winning all three matches with outstanding performances from Rashid Khan, Karim Janat (Player of the Series) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz.
HBL Pakistan Super League Season 6
After Covid-19 brought the tournament in Pakistan to a halt half-way through the season in late March 2021, the Pakistan Cricket Board relocated it to Abu Dhabi Cricket for the remaining 20 matches of HBL Pakistan Super League Season 6.
Multan Sultans took on Peshawar Zalmi in an exciting final hosted on Thursday 24th June. Multan batted first and posted an impressive 206-4 before their bowling attack broke Peshawar Zalmi down, with Imran Tahir taking 3 wickets in just 4 balls, keeping Zalmi to just 159. Multan Sultans lifted the HBL PSL Season 6 trophy surrounded by a spectacular fireworks display!
For more information about the venue visit www.abudhabicricket.ae or follow ADC on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook: @abudhabicricket.