ABU DHABI: The inaugural edition of Abu Dhabi T20 Cup will commence today with six of the world’s most exciting T20 teams competing against each other for the title.
The three-day cricketing extravaganza will see top international stars representing different teams including Imran Nazir, Abdul Razzaq, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Nuwan Kulasekara, Mitchell McClenaghan, Chris Morris, Albie Morkel, Colin Ingram, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Kyle Abbott and Johan Botha.
The six teams for the tournament – 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 already arrived in the UAE capital and have been training for the action packed competition.
“It is going to be a challenging event for everyone. All the teams are comprised of exciting players and it will be a treat to watch for Cricket fans,” said Abdul Razzaq, Pakistan’s Test Cricketer and the vice captain of team Lahore Qalandars.
Our team is blend of youngsters and experienced and it is going to be a learning opportunity for everyone, he added.
The pattern of tournament reminds one of the Champions League T20 which was abolished earlier. Albie Morkel feels that this tournament can be one like the Champions League where domestic teams from different countries can play top level Cricket.
“The Champions League tournament doesn’t exist any longer so this tournament can provide that sort of top environment to domestic players,” he said.
“Hopefully this competition can grow into something like that. I think it’s important to expose young players to Cricket like that,” Morkel added.
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.
“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.
The opening match of the tournament will be played between Auckland Aces and Boost Defenders while the second match will be played between Lahore Qalandars and Yorkshire Vikings.
The tournament, in Pakistan, will be broadcasted by country’s first sports channel Geo Super.