Maratha Arabians have made a statement of intent over reclaiming the Abu Dhabi T10 title by signing Nicholas Pooran for the new campaign.
The Trinidadian left-hander has been the most consistently destructive batsman over the four-season history of the 10-over competition.
Earlier this year at the Zayed Cricket Stadium, he powered Northern Warriors to their second title in the event. Over the course of the campaign, he was the second highest run-getter, and had the highest strike-rate.
Now he has switched allegiance to Maratha Arabians, who are rebuilding their side after failing to make the knockout stage last season, when they were defending the title they won in 2019.
Pooran will be joined at his new team by Robin Singh, the UAE coach, who has overseen both of Northern Warriors’ title wins in the T10.
The new season of the T10 is scheduled to start on November 19, and culminate on National Day weekend, on December 4.
That means it will follow two months of high stakes cricket in the Emirates. The suspended Indian Premier League will resume in Dubai on September 19.
The IPL will be followed by the T20 World Cup, across the UAE and Oman, from October 17 to November 14.
Pooran is likely to feature in both, for Punjab Kings and West Indies respectively, and Maratha Arabians are delighted to have secured his services for the T10, too.
“This year we have been planning something different, and we are targeting the trophy, which is why we have gone for the best,” Anurag Maheshwari, the franchise’s owner, said.
“Pooran is the best player there has been in T10. He is a one-man show. Robin was also very keen that we took Pooran, which is why we went for him.”
Pooran is the second big name to confirm for the T10 in consecutive days. On Saturday, it was announced former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis will make his debut in the competition. He has been recruited to lead Bangla Tigers.
The draft is likely to take place early next month, and Maheshwari is hopefully of building a competitive side to support Pooran.
“Last year it was late when we bought the team, and the time period until the start of the competition was short,” Maheshwari said.
“It wasn’t possible to win the trophy last year, but this year we are in a good space.”