England and Sussex star Tymal Mills among the names at the inaugural competition

Big news for cricket fans – Abu Dhabi Cricket and Abu Dhabi Sports Council will host a new Twenty20 cricket tournament in the capital this October.

Some 20,000 fans are expected to descend on the emirate for each of the three days of the event, called the Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy, at Zayed Cricket Stadium, which will run from October 4 to 6.

The line-up will feature some of the sport’s top international players including West Indies legend Chris Gayle and Tymal Mills, the 25-year-old England international who’s claimed the title of England’s fastest bowler. Joining them will be Yasir Shah, the fifth fastest bowler in cricket history and Zimbabwean-English star Gary Ballance, the first Yorkshire captain to score two hundreds in the same first class match.

For those of you who aren’t cricket fans, a Twenty20 game is a shortened version of a cricket match – as opposed to taking several days, like test matches, the two teams have a single innings each and just compete over one evening. The match is restricted to a maximum of 20 overs (the bowlers bowl the ball six times per over).

Contenders for the Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy include six of the world’s top teams including England’s Yorkshire Vikings, Afghanistan’s Boost Defenders, Tasmania’s Hobart Hurricanes, Pakistan’s Lahore Qalandars and South Africa’s Multiply Titans.

“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,” says His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary, ADSC. The tournament has also won the support of the global cricket government, International Cricket Council (ICC) plus the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB).

“It’s an absolute honour to see the best of the best from around the world’s established teams gather in Abu Dhabi to offer fans an experience that does not currently exist anywhere else,” says Matthew Boucher, Acting CEO, Abu Dhabi Sports Council.

The sixth team to join the line-up will be announced soon.

Tickets start from Dhs25 and will be available through Ticketmaster, Virgin Megastores and the Zayed Cricket Stadium box office. Head to the official website for more info.

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