The next edition of UAE’s T10 League will be held completely in Abu Dhabi instead of Sharjah, the organisers have announced.
The 10-over format tournament is being held annually in the UAE since 2017 with Sharjah hosting all matches exclusively so far in the two completed editions.
Now, a new deal has been agreed by the league’s organisers and Abu Dhabi Cricket which will see all T10 matches held at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi for a five-year period. The new deal also sees the competition rebranded as the Abu Dhabi T10 League.
“When it started off, the first four days was a proof of concept, a trial,” Shaji Ul Mulk, the league’s founder and chairman told The National.
“Last year was a real test of a full event. Sharjah was also strategic because in the first two years we wanted to make sure we had sell-out crowds. Sharjah, being inside the city, it is easier to attract the crowds.
🚨BREAKING🚨 #AbuDhabiCricket joins forces with @dctabudhabi & @AbuDhabiSC to sign historic deal to host @T10League for 5⃣ years from 2019 - 2023!— Abu Dhabi Cricket (@AbuDhabiCricket) March 18, 2019
WELCOME TO THE #ABUDHABIT10 👊#AbuDhabiT10 #InAbuDhabi #EveryDayIsGameDay pic.twitter.com/U6FpyrzJe6
“It had the result that, in both the years, for the final there were 8,000 to 10,000 people outside the stadium. So in both the years we achieved what we went for. Now, we believe the property is well placed to move to a bigger venue.”
One of the reasons that Abu Dhabi Cricket have signed the deal is the prospect of the bulk of PSL matches being held in Pakistan in the future instead of the UAE.
“As we have seen, PSL have just successfully staged eight games in Karachi right now,” Abu Dhabi Cricket acting chief executive Matt Boucher stated.
“The future of us being a bilateral home is not one, in the long term, we can be completely confident in. So having our own event, with Shaji, is exactly where we want to be.
“I think T10 is one of the most exciting, innovative products in world cricket.”
The inaugural edition of the T10 League in 2017 featured six franchises which was increased to eight in the most recent edition held last year.
18-year-old Hasnain excelled for eventual 2019 Pakistan Super League (PSL) champions Quetta in the just concluded edition with the young pacer picking up 12 wickets in his seven appearances. Hasnain has been one of the standout youngsters from the tournament and has grabbed eyeballs with his raw pace while managing to even breach the 150kph barrier.
So impressive were the teenager’s displays in his maiden PSL campaign that he was given a call up to the Pakistan squad for the upcoming ODI series in the UAE.
Watson, who was awarded the player of the tournament for racking up the highest number of runs in PSL 2019, has admitted to being thoroughly impressed by his Quetta team-mate Hasnain.
“Hasnain’s control over his length and swing is very impressive and he varies his pace very well,” said Watson.
“I have never seen an 18-year old bowl at such pace and I think even on the UAE pitches he will be a difficult proposition for the Australian team.”
Hasnain was in fine form in the final at Karachi on Sunday where he picked up 3-30 in a man-of-the-match display to help the Gladiators clinch their maiden PSL title.
The right-armed pacer is now targeting a spot in Pakistan’s World Cup squad and hopes to take his chance against Australia in the UAE.
“I have always been a fast bowler, and I hope to bowl even faster,” the express quick said after the final against Peshawar Zalmi.
“I want to do well in the ODIs against Australia and maybe get a spot in the World Cup squad as well.”
Hasnain will have the chance to make his case for the World Cup when the five-match ODI series between Pakistan and Australia gets under way at Sharjah on Friday.
The hosts were ultimately declared winners by 41 runs via the Duckworth Lewis System (DLS), thereby completely a 5-0 clean sweep of the ODI series.
South Africa were batting on 135-2 after bowling Sri Lanka out for 225 runs when the floodlights at the Newlands cricket ground malfunctioned.
No further play was possible after a two-hour delay leading to the officials calling off the match.
5th ODI result: South Africa have won the match by 41 runs via the DLS method after stadium light malfunction stopped play. Congratulations SA on the 5-0 series white wash, @AidzMarkram on his Player of the Match award & @QuinnyDeKock69 on Player of the series.#ProteaFire #SAvSL pic.twitter.com/SQ40wtNwrF— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) March 16, 2019
Earlier, South Africa pacers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje shared five wickets between themselves with Sri Lanka’s batsmen finding the going tough.
Kusal Mendis top-scored for the visitors with 56 but none of the other Sri Lanka batsmen were unable to push on despite getting good starts. Veteran leg-spinner Imran Tahir picked up two wickets in his home ground on what his final ODI appearance on South African soil.
In response, Sri Lanka skipper Lasith Malinga removed Quinton de Kock early but Aiden Markram and Faf du Plessis forged a 70-run stand for the second wicket to get the hosts back on track.
Markram was unbeaten on 67 while Rassie van der Dussen was batting on 28 when the match was ultimately called off.
The two teams will now square off in a three-match T20 series which begins at Cape Town on Monday.
Sri Lanka: 225 all out
Kusal Mendis: 56 (84)
Kagiso Rabada: 3-50
South Africa: 135-2 (28 overs)
Aiden Markram: 67 not out (75)