Abu Dhabi T10 begins: All you need to know

Abu Dhabi T10 will be nothing less than a spectacle when the likes of Chris Gayle, Shahid Afridi, Kieron Pollard, Shoaib Malik and Sunil Narine will be in action.

Abu Dhabi T10 is the world’s only ten-over cricket tournament officially sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC). It is the first-ever internationally approved ten-over format competition. The second edition of Abu Dhabi T10 will be held from 28th January – 6th February 2021. Matches have a 10-over-a-side format and duration of 45 minutes a side totalling 90 minutes of play. The tournament is played over ten days, with a round-robin followed by semi-finals and the final.

29 matches in 10 days

Starting on January 28 and running through February 6, the Abu Dhabi T10 will have eight world-class teams, featuring some of the biggest superstars of the sport, fighting it out in 29 high-intensity matches at Abu Dhabi’s iconic Zayed Cricket Stadium.

Each match will be of 20 overs, 10 for each team, and will reach a conclusion within one and a half hours, making sure fans get all the thrill, action, and drama wrapped into a 90-minute package.

To set the ball rolling, eight teams have been divided into two groups of four, with every team facing the other once in the group stage. The standings after the group stage will determine the fixtures of the Super League stage, which begins on February 1.

After 12 matches in the Super League stage, the competition gets sharper as we move closer to the business end of the tournament. The Playoffs will take place on February 5, followed by the grand finale on February 6.

With three 10-over matches happening daily until the final night, fans can gear up for a high dose of non-stop, fast-paced cricketing action every day.

Eight teams, one goal

A total of eight teams from two groups will battle it out to be crowned the champions of The Abu Dhabi T10.

Group A features the defending champions Maratha Arabians and former champions Northern Warriors, along with the young and energetic Bangla Tigers and the Dwayne Bravo-led Delhi Bulls.

Group B is equally competitive as last season’s finalists Deccan Gladiators are drawn with Qalandars, led by Shahid Afridi, and the newly formed Pune Devils, along with Team Abu Dhabi, which features the Universe Boss Chris Gayle.

Defending champions Maratha Arabians, who have assembled an entirely new squad, will begin their title defence against former champions Northern Warriors from Group A in the tournament opener, which will be followed by Group B’s first match between the Pune Devils and Deccan Gladiators.

Players that will make it count

Each team features a blend of seasoned cricketers and young talents that can take their teams all the way to the summit.

Chris Gayle, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Sunil Narine, Nicholas Pooran, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Mohammad Amir are some of the big names that will take the field for their teams. However, the tournament also features several exciting young talents that demand attention for their impeccable achievements at a young age such as Afghan wicket keeper-batsman Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who played a vital role in Afghanistan’s recent win over Ireland, and Nepal’s 16-year-old Kushal Malla, who holds the world record for being the youngest to score a One-Day International half-century.

The tournament also provides an opportunity for local United Arab Emirates cricketers to rub shoulders with some of the global superstars, which will, in turn, accelerate the development of the UAE’s fast-evolving cricket culture.

For instance, one of the most experienced cricketers from the UAE, Rohan Mustafa, has been handed the vice-captaincy of Team Abu Dhabi, while a 16-year-old Maroof Merchant has been drafted into the Maratha Arabians squad.

The Abu Dhabi T10 is not just an event for the big guns to flex their muscles. It is a platform that focuses on the collective progress of youngsters and local heroes.

Entertainment, guaranteed

Amidst all the uncertainties of the T10 format and questions of who will make it to the final, we can assure you one thing – the entertainment quotient is going to be off the roof!

The Abu Dhabi T10 will be nothing less than a spectacle when the likes of Chris Gayle, Shahid Afridi, Kieron Pollard, Shoaib Malik and Sunil Narine will be in action.

Last season, nearly 6,000 runs were second, some 250 wickets fell and more than 300 sixes were smashed! In last year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), a maximum was scored off about every 20th ball. In Abu Dhabi T10, a six rained off every 10th ball. Twice as much!

So, if you don’t want to suffer from a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out), cancel your plans, grab your popcorn, and get ready for 10 days of mind-blowing entertainment.

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