Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, will be the new home of T10 cricket for the next five years, starting this October.
Abu Dhabi Cricket, in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has signed a five-year agreement with the organisers of the T10 Cricket League.
The shortest form of the game will now be played exclusively at the Zayed Cricket Stadium, state news agency WAM reported.
To announce the partnership, a T10 match was organised on the seafront of Abu Dhabi’s Corniche, with aces Colin Ingram, Andre Fletcher and Luke Ronchi having a bat on the beach.
Saif Saeed Ghobash, Under-Secretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: "This announcement is fantastic news for Abu Dhabi. Our city is a major global hub with a huge variety of attractions that cater to people of all ages and backgrounds, and the T10 tournament’s presence in the city for the next five years represents an exciting opportunity to attract even more visitors from around the globe, especially those from India who represent one of DCT Abu Dhabi’s key markets."
"T10 is fast, punchy, exciting cricket, making it perfect viewing for those of us living in the UAE," added Aref Al Awani, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
"The decision to host T10 in Abu Dhabi is a fitting demonstration of our strategic investments in sporting infrastructure, such as training facilities and match stadiums which we have been making over recent years. T10 will bring the latest edge to a city known for its sporting credentials, from Formula 1 to the AFC Asian Cup and the Special Olympics World Games."
T10, in which only 120 balls are played in a fast-paced 90-minute game, was first introduced to the UAE in 2017. With eight squads vying for victory in games with an explosive pace, players featured have included Chris Gayle, Shoaib Malik, Shane Watson and Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.
Shaji Ul Mulk, chairman of the T10 League, said: "We are very pleased to be moving to Zayed Cricket Stadium, as we take one of the world’s most exciting sporting cities by storm.
"The third season of T10 cricket will allow over 100,000 fans the chance to see some of the biggest names in cricket battle it out on the pitch over 90 fast minutes of action."
Matt Boucher, the acting CEO of Abu Dhabi Cricket, added: "This move to Zayed Cricket Stadium represents a big next step in the growth of Abu Dhabi’s cricketing ecosystem, by giving fans access to a combined sports and entertainment offering through hosting all forms of the game. Whether its international Test matches or the now shortest form of cricket the game has to offer, we are continuing to be the home of the sport in the UAE.
The first match of the T10 League will be played on October 23.
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