The T10 League will move base from Sharjah to Abu Dhabi next season after striking a 5-year deal to host matches at the city’s Zayed Cricket Stadium. The competition will be rebranded as the Abu Dhabi T10 League as part of the deal.
The 10-over cricket competition has proved popular in the United Arab Emirates since its debut in 2017. Sharjah has hosted all of the matches in the first two editions of the tournament as the tournament organisers looked to grow the new competition gradually.
“Last year was a real test of a full event,” Shaji Ul Mulk, the league’s founder and chairman told The National. “Sharjah was also strategic because in the first two years we wanted to make sure we had sell-out crowds. Sharjah, being inside the city, it is easier to attract the crowds.
“It had the result that, in both the years, for the final there were 8,000 to 10,000 people outside the stadium. So in both the years we achieved what we went for. Now, we believe the property is well placed to move to a bigger venue.”
The 5-year deal has been agreed between the league’s organisers and Abu Dhabi Cricket. Matt Boucher, acting chief executive of Abu Dhabi Cricket indicated that the prospect that the majority of Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches could soon be held in Pakistan had motivated his organisation to sign the deal. Matches in the PSL had previously been moved to Abu Dhabi due to security concerns but the Pakistan Cricket Board has stepped up its efforts to return high-level cricket to the country.
“The future of us being a bilateral home is not one, in the long term, we can be completely confident in. So having our own event, with Shaji [T20 founder Shaji Ul Mulk], is exactly where we want to be,” he said.
The third season of the Abu Dhabi T10 League starts on 23 October.