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New T20 tournament to be staged in UAE

The United Arab Emirates will host the inaugural edition of a new Twenty20 cricket tournament later this month, the Emirates Cricket Board has announced.

The Desert T20 national team tournament will run from January 14-20 and will feature Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Ireland, Namibia, Netherlands, Oman and Scotland, as well as the UAE.

Games will take place at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi from January 14-17, with the final two days of match play to be held at the International Cricket Stadium in Dubai.

“Emirates Cricket Board are delighted to collaborate with the participating associates to bring this inaugural T20 tournament to the UAE,” Zayed Abbas, an Emirates Cricket board member, said. “The aim of the tournament is to provide an opportunity for our teams to play more competitive men’s T20 cricket. Each of the participating countries are very close in ICC T20 rankings, so we expect the quality of cricket to be very strong.”

Pool A will comprise Afghanistan, Ireland, Namibia and the UAE, while the Netherlands, Scotland, Oman and Hong Kong will make up Pool B.

“With the world-class practice facilities and playing surfaces available to us in the UAE, we are confident each associate will benefit greatly from this tournament,” Abbas added. “We extend our sincere thanks to the participating unions, the ICC and the ICC Academy for their support and commitment to this tournament.”

The opening game of the tournament will see Scotland take on Hong Kong on January 14 before Afghanistan face off against Ireland. Entry to each venue will be free.