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Abu Dhabi T10: Season 5 kicks off with Northern Warriors v Delhi Bulls clash (preview)

 
Abu Dhabi, Nov 18 (IANS) The fifth season of the Abu Dhabi T10 league will kickstart with the exciting clash between defending champions Northern Warriors and Delhi Bulls at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, here on Friday.

The league in the shortest format of the game, which is hosted by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) and is the only T10 tournament in the world sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC), will be played in Abu Dhabi from November 19 to December 4.

Six franchises -- Bangla Tigers, Deccan Gladiators, Delhi Bulls, Chennai Braves, Northern Warriors, and Team Abu Dhabi -- will battle it out for the Abu Dhabi T10 trophy. Each of the franchises packed their squads with the most destructive cricketers in the Player Draft on October 7.

Over the years, some of the finest players from across the globe have participated in the Abu Dhabi T10 League. The explosive batsmen such as Chris Gayle, Liam Livingstone, Yusuf Pathan, and Andre Russell to impactful bowlers such as Adil Rashid, Isuru Udana, and Imran Tahir will light up the league in the 2021 season.

The opening match of this year's tournament will also see many international stars representing both sides. The England duo Moeen Ali and Chris Jordan will represent the Warriors while Delhi has the likes of Dwayne Bravo and Eoin Morgan.

The second match on Day One pits home side Team Abu Dhabi against the Bangla Tigers, with both teams looking to get off to the perfect start as they search for a first title.

Team Abu Dhabi's star-studded squad includes West Indies legend Chris Gayle and England superstar Liam Livingstone, while Bangla Tigers boast a team that features iconic Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi, and former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis.

"We can't wait to get started with another thrilling edition of the cricket's fastest format and to witness some of the best players in the world here in Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi T10 promises to deliver a thrilling two weeks of cricketing action and we are excited to welcome back UAE cricket fans to the stadium as we close out a historic cricketing calendar in the country," said Shaji ul Mulk, chairman, and owner of the Abu Dhabi T10 League.

In total, there will be 35 matches played across the 15 days of competition at Zayed Cricket Stadium, with each team playing each other twice before the top four sides advance to the qualifiers.

The teams in first and second place in the group stage will feature in a qualifier, with the winner advancing to the final. The losing team of that first qualifier will then get a second chance to reach the showpiece by facing the winner of the day's eliminator between the sides placed third and fourth.

A third and fourth place playoff will get underway on December 4 from before the final starts later on the day to crown this year's champion.

--IANS

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