10 Oct

The organisers of the Abu Dhabi T10 Cricket League have postponed this year’s event citing the packed UAE cricket schedule. The 2020 T10 tournament will now be played from January 28 to February 6, 2021, at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in the capital.

The 10-over competition had originally been planned to start on November 19 but has been overshadowed by the arrival of the Indian Premier League to the UAE.

This year’s IPL was originally scheduled to start on March 29 2020, but was postponed as the pandemic took hold in the country. It was approved by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to take place in the UAE rather than on home turf due to the spread of Covid-19 in India.

T10, a fast-paced, 10-over game in which only 120 balls are played, had announced its original competition dates before the IPL relocated to the UAE. With the UAE authorities fully focused on ensuring the IPL proceeds efficiently, planning for the T10 event has also until now been on hold.

Aref Al Awani, General secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “Planning is already underway to host cricket’s elite players in a safe, bio-secure environment.”

Abu Dhabi Cricket’s chief executive Matt Bouche, said the safety measures for the T10 will be on a par with those implemented for the IPL.

A date for the player auction has yet to be confirmed, but the competition is expected to continue with its eight-team, 10-day format.

According to the organisers last year’s tournament attracted a combined TV audience of more than 80 million globally.

Indian pay-television broadcaster Sony Pictures Networks, which acquired rights for the 2019 edition of the league, will be the host broadcasters again and anticipate increasing those figures by 15 per cent this season.

Last year, Abu Dhabi Cricket signed a five-year agreement with the T10 organisers making Zayed Cricket Stadium the host venue for T10 cricket until 2023. The tournament had previously been hosted in the city of Sharjah for each of its three seasons since its 2017 inception.

John Stephenson


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