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5 Best Things From The Abu Dhabi T10

Updated: May 17

So ends another season of Abu Dhabi’s flagship tournament the T10 League.

On 6th February the Northern Warriors beat the Delhi Bulls which drew the competition to a close.

Much like the game itself, the tournament has been short and sweet and doesn’t drag on for months at a time like other franchise cricket round the world. It is all action and it's gone in a flash.

Despite boasting luxury surroundings at the Sheikh Zayed stadium, it is easy to forget that this is an Associate Nation tournament hosted and run by the Emirates Cricket Board. A shining example of how to expose the game round the world.

With this in mind let’s look back at our 5 favourite things from this year’s edition.

Gayle makes his mark

Who’d have thought that Chris Gayle and T10 cricket would work so well together?

After a tricky start, Gayle came alive and scored a memorable 84 off 22 balls. The biggest error you can make is to underestimate him and, just like in the IPL in 2020, when the chips are down, the Universe Boss tends to stand up and deliver.

In the following game, Waseem Muhammad repeated Gayle’s feat by scoring his own 12 ball 50!

(Photo Credit: Toby Marriott)

Young players getting a chance

Alongside the more established players like Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi and Luke Wright, there've been several younger or less established players making the headlines in the tournament.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore led the run scoring charts for much of the tournament, Jamie Overton and Fabian Allen took 12 and 11 wickets respectively and we’ve already mentioned Muhammad Waseem’s unbelievable batting displays.

Beyond the headlines, this competition has provided a platform for many young players making early inroads into the world of franchise cricket: Qais Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Palaniapan Meiyappan, George Garton, Afif Hossain and even Sam Wisniewski who had played just 2 T20 games for Yorkshire prior to the tournament.

Rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names in world cricket will undoubtedly give these young players a chance to learn huge amounts.

Associate players on show

It was also a pleasure to see a tournament with genuine Associate Cricket representation.

This year’s tournament included internationals from America, Canada, Oman, Nepal and of course the UAE.

Make no mistake though, these guys were not just there to make up the numbers, in recent years Associate Cricketers have had many great opportunities to break into the big leagues and tournaments like the Abu Dhabi T10 allow a platform for these cricketers to show their stuff.

Whilst faces like Ali Khan’s are familiar to some, this year’s competition has given light to many others, particularly Emirati players. One player who particularly stood out was Munis Ansari with his side arm bowling which seemed tricky for bowlers to pick up.

Big name coaches

This competition doesn’t just bring the players but also the coaches too.

Legends of the game descend on Abu Dhabi every year to lend a hand to managing each team. Andy Flower, Mushtaq Ahmed and Jonty Rhodes all took charge of teams in this year’s competition.

Some of these coaches are further along their career path than others, whilst some share their duties in the T10 with other roles round the world. The Arabians head coach, Lalchand Rajput, is also the head coach of Zimbabwe.

Of the 8 teams there were 6 different nationalities too giving even more of an international flavour to this tournament.

Cricket on all day

Because of the back to back nature of the T10 League, games are happening pretty much all day which suits wherever you are in the world!

Particularly at the moment when most of the Test cricket is finishing all around 11am UK time, the T10 League means that whether you want something on in the background whilst you work, a quick lunchtime watch or you’re skiving off your online classes, the cricket in Abu Dhabi provides great entertainment.

Bring on the T10 Tournament in 2022!

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