South Africa’s domestic T20 champions, the Titans, will be heading to the United Arab Emirates for a duel in the desert in the inaugural Abu Dhabi T20 Tournament, taking place from 4-6 October.
For the first time in the Emirate, six domestic T20 teams from around the world will compete for the coveted title of an international T20 championship. The tournament will be played over three days and several matches, at the state-of-the-art Zayed Cricket Stadium.
The teams joining the Titans are Australia’s Hobart Hurricanes, England’s Yorkshire Vikings, Afghanistan’s Boost Defenders, Pakistan’s Lahore Qalandars, with the sixth and final team from the UAE yet to be announced.
The tournament will feature some of the world’s best T20 players, with the Boost Defenders having recruited T20 superstar Chris Gayle.
Hobart Hurricanes will call on the bowling services of England’s Tymal ‘T’ Mills, Gary Ballance will figure for Yorkshire Vikings, Yasir Shah will line up for Lahore Qalandars, and the Multiply Titans, meanwhile, will be led by all-round powerhouse Albie Morkel.
Speaking about the Titans’ involvement, Titans Cricket CEO, Dr Jacques Faul said: “It is very exciting for us, as the Multiply Titans, to be involved in the Abu Dhabi T20 competition.
“Having dominated our domestic T20 for the last few seasons, it is fantastic to have an international gauge to assess where we are at as a franchise.
“There has been a vacuum in this regard, ever since the Champions League tournament fell away. We are honoured to have been recognised as an ideal franchise to play in the inaugural event for what we hope will be an annual gathering.
“When you look at the calibre of teams from around the world, it is shaping up to be a fantastic event to be a part of. The Abu Dhabi region has certainly ramped up its cricketing landscape, and it is important to us as a franchise to take the Multiply Titans brand around the world.”
“On a personal note, we have a great relationship with Yorkshire, with one of our longest serving stars, Jacques Rudolph, having enjoyed a wonderful career there, by mutual agreement.
“As the cricketing world gets ever smaller, we are very keen to cultivate similar relationships with the franchises that we will be competing with in Abu Dhabi.”
The international tournament, starting on Thursday 4 October, will be broadcast live through various channels, as the teams compete in a round-robin stage, with the top two meeting in the final at 8 pm on Sunday 6 October.
Each day, around 20 000 spectators are expected to support the visiting teams at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Abu Dhabi Cricket (ADC), with the full support of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), will host the UAE capital’s first owned T20 tournament with the aim of aligning with the ASDC’s continued goal of developing cricket and enhancing its position as a major events hub.
His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary, ADSC said: “With this level of player power, the tournament allows Abu Dhabi to deliver on our mandate of ushering in an exciting new era of cricket in the emirate.
“Fans can look forward to three days of thrilling entertainment in what we anticipate will be fiercely fought action to lift the inaugural Abu Dhabi T20 trophy. The tournament will certainly help cement Abu Dhabi’s international sporting credentials, reinforcing its major events hub reputation and expand awareness of our world-class facilities.”
ADC Acting CEO, Matthew Boucher said: “We wanted to set ourselves apart from the rest of the world and offer a different product, without creating another franchise-led tournament.
“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.”
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