Pakistan’s Star Cricketers Give Third Edition of T10 League a Miss

The third edition of the Abu Dhabi T10 League took off with an explosive opening ceremony and concert at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, 14 November.

The third instalment of the competition promises to be bigger and better with big Indian names in attendance. Former Indian cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan are part of the tournament this year.

While Zaheer will be part of the Delhi Bulls, Yuvraj will be seen playing for the Maratha Warriors. Another big names include, Sri Lankan legend Lasith Malinga, World Cup winning English captain Eoin Morgan.

But, for the first time the 10-day cricket tournament, will not see any Pakistani cricket stars in action. Even former Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi, who was part of the league till last year, gave the tournament a miss.

No permission from the Pakistan Cricket Board has been cited as the reason for non-attendance.

Mohammad Zaman AKA Chacha T20 (centre) with Shahbaz Pakistani (right) at the opening ceremony of the Abu Dhabi T10 League on Thursday.
Mohammad Zaman AKA Chacha T20 (centre) with Shahbaz Pakistani (right) at the opening ceremony of the Abu Dhabi T10 League on Thursday.

But this hasn’t spoilt the spirits of the Pakistani fans.

“The Pakistani cricketers may not be here, but I am supporting my team Lahore Qalanders. Apart from that I support all the teams and players. I have been watching the league since its first season,” said Mohammad Zaman AKA Chacha T20.

Zaman calls himself the cheerleader of the Pakistan cricket team and has witnessed all games of Pakistan in UAE since 1993.

Apart from Zaman, there was another big fan of Pakistan cricket Shahbaz Pakistani, who also rued that fact that Pakistan cricketer won’t be there at the T10 tournament but believes that the show must go on.

“I am very happy that the matches are being held in Abu Dhabi. I will miss the Pakistani cricketers but still I will enjoy the cricket and support the other teams playing here. I will support the Indian players and Bangladeshi players also,” said Shahbaz

On Thursday evening, the opening concert was led the renowned Indian actor Mammootty, who offered words of wisdom to a global audience on the Spirit of Cricket.

Also featured was legendary Pakistani singer Atif Aslam, as well as cricketing super idols including Yuvraj Singh, Eoin Morgan, Darren Sammy, Hashim Amla and Shane Watson.

The evening wowed crowds with spectacular performances from Bollywood star Rakul Preet Singh, South Indian model and actress Parvati Nair, and Bangladeshi film favourite Shakib Khan. In attendance during the opening was Basharat Khan - Director at Aldar Properties, and representatives from the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Sports Council.

With the launch of the tournament underway, the cricketing action begins on Friday, 15 November as the Northern Warriors start their defence of the coveted Aldar Properties Abu Dhabi T10 Trophy, squaring off against the formidable Maratha Arabians. Also featuring on the opening day of play will be the latest addition to the championship, the city’s very own Team Abu Dhabi, who will face off against the powerhouse of Team Qalandars.

The tournament, which will run through to 24 November, is being broadcast in India on Sony Six and Sony Ten 3.

The Abu Dhabi T10 is a professional ten-over format cricket league launched by T10 Sports Management and licensed by the Emirates Cricket Board and approved by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the governing body of international cricket. It is the first ever internationally approved ten-over format league.

Matches have 10-over-a-side format and duration of 45 minutes a side, totalling 90 minutes of play. The tournament is played over ten days, with a round robin followed by semi-finals and the final. In August 2018, the International Cricket Council (ICC) officially sanctioned the league.

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