Cricket superstars, including the likes of Chris Gayle and Shahid Afridi, have been confirmed to play in the fourth edition of the Abu Dhabi T10 slated to be played from January 28 to February 6 next year at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Gayle will take centre stage as the icon player for Team Abu Dhabi and is one of several West Indies players along with Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell, who will feature in the tournament.
“The shorter the format, the more exciting the game becomes. I can’t wait to play at the Zayed Cricket Stadium again, watch out Abu Dhabi – a Gayle-storm is coming,” Gayle said in a statement.
His West Indies teammate, all-rounder Russell, will be a part of the Northern Warriors as an icon player.
The Qalandars will have Afridi as an icon player in their ranks. He held the record for the fastest century in the ODI format for more than 17 years.
“I look forward to coming back to the Abu Dhabi T10 and playing in one of the most stunning stadiums in the world,” said Afridi.
Bravo, former captain of the West Indies, will be the icon player for the Delhi Bulls. He last year led Maratha Arabians to title victory.
Deccan Gladiators have named West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine as their icon player.
Defending champions Maratha Arabians have decided to back experience for this season as they have signed the World T20-winning player Shoaib Malik as their icon player.
The former Pakistan captain will lead the Arabians side.
Isuru Udana is set to showcase his slower ball variations as the icon player for the Bangla Tigers.
Another T20 World Cup winner, Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera, will provide his services with both bat and ball as the chosen icon player of the Pune Devils.
Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said the tournament was of crucial importance to the region.
“Although we have hosted numerous local and international cricket events in the past, our commitment to host the second season of Abu Dhabi T10 enhances our gold star portfolio of world-class destination sporting events,” he said.
“It builds upon and expands our profile for bringing together the top athletes in world sport and offering elite competition and unparalleled entertainment value.” (The Quint/BT)