Chris Gayle and Yasir Shah among stars to play in brand new Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy tournament

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Heading to Abu Dhabi: Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle, Yasir Shah and Albie Morkel will be among the stars on show in a brand new T20 tournament that will be held in Abu Dhabi later this year.

Abu Dhabi Cricket (ADC), with the full support of Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), will host the inaugural Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy in October, featuring established teams from Asia, Australia, South Africa and England in action over three days at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Yorkshire Vikings of England, Afghanistan’s Boost Defenders, Big Bash League Hobart Hurricanes, Pakistan Super League’s Lahore Qalandars and South Africa’s most successful T20 outfit Multiply Titans are all set to compete from October 4 to 6. One more franchise will be announced at a later date.

Blistering batsman Gayle is set to feature for The Boost Defenders, while Shah is part of the Qalandars’ squad. South African veteran Morkel will be leading the Titans while England pace ace Tymal Mills will don Hobart Hurricanes’ shirt.

It is the most high profile tournament on ADC’s calendar so far and Matthew Boucher, their acting CEO, said: “We wanted to set ourselves apart from the rest of the world and offer a different product, without creating another franchise-led league.

“It’s an absolute honour to see the best of the best from around the world’s established teams gather in Abu Dhabi to offer fans an experience that does not currently exist anywhere else.

“We are very grateful to all the teams and their management for backing this initiative and getting on board.”

The tournament has the support of the Emirates Cricket Board and the ICC. ECB CEO David East believes it will be one to remember.

“All the ingredients are there,” he said. “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.”

For Multiply Titans CEO Dr Jacques Faul, he believes the Abu Dhabi T20 will be a great tournament to test themselves against international opposition.

“The Titans are very excited to be involved in this ground-breaking T20 tournament. Having dominated our domestic T20 league for the last few seasons, it’s fantastic to have an international platform to assess where we are at as a franchise,” he said. “There has been a vacuum in this regard, ever since the Champions League tournament fell away.

“When you look at the calibre of teams from around the world, it’s shaping up to be a fantastic event to be a part of. Abu Dhabi has certainly ramped up its cricketing landscape, and it is important to us as a franchise to take the Titans brand around the world. We’re honoured to have been recognised as a marquee franchise to play in this inaugural event which we hope will be an annual gathering.”

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Cameron Bancroft scores just one run on his cricket return

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Cameron Bancroft had a disappointing return

Cameron Bancroft’s return to cricket didn’t go as well as expected after the Australian batsman was out for just one on Sunday.

Lining up for Desert Blaze in the NT Strike League at Darwin, the 25-year-old opened the batting but gave away an easy catch to the fielder at cover off Southern Storm opening bowler Blade Baxter.

Speaking after the game, Bancroft said: “To get back in to some cricket is really exciting. Obviously not an ideal start but the team won, it’s not all about you sometimes.

“I’ll keep enjoying every moment here.”

He added: “Cricket is a component and part of my life. I know that for the last couple of months cricket has not necessarily been the No.1 priority in my life.

“But my life is still pretty good and there’s lots of great things about it.

“I think that’s been the beautiful thing about the last few months is you certainly learnt to appreciate and be grateful for what you do have.

“I had cricket taken away from me there for a little while but I’ve got a lot of great friends and support.”

Bancroft was playing in first game since being handed a nine-month ban for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal.

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Hello, Denzil Pinto and the rest of the Sport360 team are in place to provide you with the latest news, comment and analysis on all things cricket.

Our daily blog will ensure you have all the latest updates throughout your day and the week but we want you to get involved, too.

Tell us your thoughts on what’s happening by tweeting @Sport360.

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