Short-format cricket is in trend; whether it is IPL, Big Bash, or CPL, you will find an elevated dose of entertainment. One of the newest innovations in cricket, according to fantasy cricket sites, is the T10 league, which was introduced in 2017 in Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, and has gradually become popular with passing seasons.
All the matches of the first season were held in Abu Dhabi, with games being shared between the grounds of Dubai and Sharjah in the second season. This year, the T10 league returned back to Bu Dhabi and will stay here for the next five years, as per the hosting rights agreement signed between Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and the T10 league.
This blog discusses more about this league: the players, groups, franchises, and more.
Full of cricket superstars
Since the first years, the superstars of the modern game lit up the league. In this season, Shahid Afridi will play for Lahore Qalandars, one of the most fan-favorite sides of the tournament. Fans also got a chance to see the power-hitting from the English skipper Eoin Morgan. The Aussie world cup winner Shane Watson was also be seen playing one of his final franchise tournaments.
From fantasy sports India, the legendary Zaheer Khan was seen bowling those dippers and outswingers in this tournament. Moreover, reports and rumors suggest that all-rounders Irfan Pathan and Yuvraj Singh are also towards signing team contracts. This is probably one of those rare times when Indian players will be seen playing in a foreign league. Sources suggest that there will be around ten Indian players playing in the Abu Dhabi T10 league this season.
The League trophy and team logo were unveiled at the glamorous opening ceremony. On this occasion, Mr. Shaji ul Mulk, the Chairman of the League, hoped that the fans would get to enjoy some thrilling fantasy cricket. And why not — the stars of the cricketing world are going face to face in the ultimate cricket clash.
According to Mr. Mulk, “here are the best of the best from around the world, which will be the utmost pleasure for the audience.”
The 2019 season had eight teams compared to just five in the opening season, which demonstrates the increasing popularity of the tournament. Fawad Chaudhary owns the Lahore Qalandars and made news by signing Shahid Afridi. Another new introduction to the season was Bangla Tigers, a new team owned by Shirazuddin Alam and Yasin Chowdhury. The eight teams were divided into two groups, as mentioned below.
- Delhi Bulls
- Deccan Gladiators
- Karnataka Tuskers
- Bangla Tigers
- Abu Dhabi
- Northern Warriors
- Maratha Arabians
Some changes were made to the squads from the last year. Bengal Tigers played as Delhi Bulls, Kerala Knights played as Gujarati Panthers, and Rajputs as Karnataka Tuskers. Two teams Pakhtoons and Punjab were removed from the tournament and were replaced by Bangla Tigers and Qalandars.
2019 Player Draft
The draft before the tournament was surrounded by celebration and fanfare. Big-name players made impressive signings apart from the players already in the teams. New fantasy cricket site stated that in the drafting process, each time was given three minutes to pick one player round in the draft. Although most of the decisions were made beforehand, we saw a few instant strategies being made and combinations being considered. Players were to be picked from the following categories.
- One Icon Player at 60,000 dollars
- Three categories ‘A’ players at 45,000 dollars
- Three category B players at 30,000 dollars
- Two categories ‘C’ players at 20,000 dollars
- Two UAE residents at 10,000 dollars
- Two emerging talent players at 10,000 dollars
The league began on Nov. 15, 2019, with the first match being played between Northern Warriors and Maratha Arabians. Then, a series of nail-biting competitions begun, and by the end of the group league, Deccan Gladiators and Bangla Tigers were the table-toppers of Group A, and Maratha Arabians and Qalandars topped the Group 2 table.
The first Qualifier match was held between Maratha Arabians, and Qalandars, which the Arabians won by seven wickets are qualified directly for the finals. The first Eliminator was held between Bangla Tigers and Deccan Gladiators, in which, live cricket score sites showed that Deccan Gladiators turned out to be victorious by five wickets. The Gladiators won the second Eliminator against Qalandars as well and faced Maratha Arabians in the Final. The Final was held on Nov. 24, and the season came to an end with IPL match result being Maratha Arabians winning the trophy by eight wickets.