The Yorkshire County Cricket Club has confirmed that the sixth team to participate in the Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy will be Yorkshire, after having agreed to the proposal to contest the inaugural edition of the competition. Emirates Cricket Board-organised Abu Dhabi T20 tournament will take place at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi from October 4-6, with 6 teams - Pakistan Super League side Lahore Qalandars, Big Bash League team Hobart Hurricanes, Yorkshire Vikings from the Vitality T20 Blast, Multiply Titans from South Africa and Afghanistan side Boost Defenders and now, Yorkshire - to contest what is now a much anticipated event for the United Arab Emirates Cricket fraternity.
The first edition of the league has been announced with a plethora of T20 stars from around the globe making up teams that will compete for the maiden title. Chris Gayle will be in action for the Boost Defenders, Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah will play for the Lahore Qalandars while Tymal Mills will represent the Hobart Hurricanes. Albie Morkel will lead the Titans side that will also have Proteas all-rounder Farhaan Behardien while Gary Ballance will lead the Vikings.
Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, was quoted saying about the development as, “Make no mistake, this a dynamic field of the best of the best. 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.”
The Yorkshire County Cricket Club(YCCC), CEO Mark Arthur added has also said, “T20 cricket is becoming more and more significant and certainly in the sub-continent, it’s their favourite format of the game. We want to compete as Yorkshire in all three formats of the game in this country and when you’re presented with the chance of playing against representation from Pakistan, Australia and Afghanistan; it’s a great opportunity"
“The prize money is very meaningful, it is effectively winner takes all and would be the icing on the cake. Some of the younger players, in particular, will learn from the experience and it helps the process that we’re undergoing to maintain our competitiveness in all three formats in 2018.”
Yorkshire’s Director of Cricket, Martyn Moxon, echoed the sentiment by stating, “It’s tremendous that we’ve been asked to take part in this. With all 18 First-Class counties available, for us to be asked is a feather in our cap. It gives us the opportunity to pit our wits again some of the best players in the world. It’s similar to the Champions League back in 2012, so we’re all really looking forward to it."
“The way cricket is going, for us to be involved in these tournaments such as this, with our future in mind, is very promising. It will be a short trip and we’ll have three days over there to prepare, but it will be very interesting. It will be great to test ourselves against the best in the world.”
The tournament has been officially approved by the International Cricket Council(ICC) and could be game-changing for the game in UAE.