Abu Dhabi Cricket (ADC), the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) supported organisation charged with raising cricket’s profile throughout the emirate, is anticipating a tightly contested showdown for this weekend’s much-anticipated inaugural Abu Dhabi T20.
The six international challengers for the Abu Dhabi T20 – the Auckland Aces from New Zealand, Lahore Qalandars from Pakistan, Hobart Hurricanes from Australia, Yorkshire Vikings from the United Kingdom, Boost Defenders from Afghanistan and Multiply Titans from South Africa - have arrived in the UAE capital and have begun training at the newly upgraded practice facilities at Zayed Cricket Stadium.
“With this event Abu Dhabi Sports Council is ushering in a new era with the introduction of Abu Dhabi’s first ever owned cricket product and delivering on our promise of an exciting new era of cricket in the emirate,” said His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary, ADSC. “Cricket fans can look forward to three days of superb sporting prowess in what we anticipate will be fiercely fought action to lift the inaugural trophy in this event. This new tournament underscores Abu Dhabi’s international sporting credentials and further reinforces our position as a global capital of world sport.”
Some of the world’s greatest cricketing talent features among the international challengers battling for honours in Abu Dhabi from October 4-6. The T20 line-up has captured the imagination of fans throughout the Emirates and beyond with the tournament, which is expected to run annually until 2020, receiving a resounding response.
Albie Morkel, Captain of South Africa’s Multiply Titans commented: “The Titans are very excited to be involved in this ground-breaking T20 event. Having dominated our domestic T20 league for the last few seasons, it’s fantastic to have an international platform to assess where we are as a team. When you look at the calibre of teams that we are up against, it’s shaping up to be a fantastic event to be a part of. We’re honoured to have been recognised as a marquee team to play in this inaugural event and already looking forward to returning in coming years.”
The Abu Dhabi T20 will be an international showcase for Abu Dhabi Cricket, as the newly-managed facility continues its journey to the top table of UAE sport. Recent investment upgrades have gone into the Zayed Stadium, which have resulted in truly world-class facilities for players and spectators alike. ADC now hosts over 25 weekly operators driving an impressive footfall of 12,000 children and adults on a weekly basis.
“Our desire to host our first ever owned product is now fully crystallised, with six of the world’s best T20 franchises here in our own backyard, competing to a truly international multicultural audience under the Abu Dhabi night sky. We’re fresh off the back of hosting 55,000 fans over 5 games for the 2018 Asia Cup and ready to once again build our product and strengthen our international cricketing credentials,” said Matt Boucher, Acting CEO, ADC. “We’ve navigated the global cricketing landscape with great prowess - and my thanks to everyone at Sporta Group for their consultation, and I’m pleased to say the Abu Dhabi T20 event is here to stay. As our partners at ADSC will no doubt testify, first time events are never easy, but it’s been exciting and we’re already looking to build on these foundations for 2019.”
“We’re looking forward to seeing this high calibre field in competitive action. These are some of the best T20 teams in the world with some of the most exciting cricketing talent. The field will come alive with high-grade performances from the likes of well-known players such as Colin Ingram, Johan Botha, Albie Morkel, Chris Morris and Tim Bresnan, as well exciting new talent, such as Ronsford Beaton, Shaheen Afridi and Tom Kohler-Cadmore. It is a tournament not to be missed for cricket and sporting fans alike and gives expatriates from the competing countries – the UK, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa a chance to show their partisan supporting colours.”
The Abu Dhabi T20 groupings and match schedules are as follows:
Group A Group B
Yorkshire Vikings Auckland Aces
Hobart Hurricanes Boost Defenders
Lahore Qalandars Multiply Titans
The Tournament Schedule:
Thursday, October 4 Friday, October 5 Saturday,October 6
4pm: Match 1 3pm: Match 3 11am: Match 5
Auckland v Boost Hobart v Lahore Vikings v Hobart
8pm: Match 2 7pm: Match 4 3pm: Match 6
Vikings v Lahore Titans v Boost Titans v Auckland
Tickets and premium hospitality packages for the tournament can be booked now on: www.abudhabit20.ae