The new cricket season will be among the busiest ever for leading UAE cricketers, after dates were confirmed for the next edition of the Abu Dhabi T10.
The 2022 version of competition, which will be the fourth since it moved from Sharjah to the capital, will take place at the Zayed Cricket Stadium from November 23 to December 4.
The 10-over tournament is set to be joined on the UAE calendar for the first time by a new T20 franchise league, which is also expected to attract some of the leading names from the world game.
That event, set to be named the International League T20, will be played in January and February 2023.
It is to be played across the Emirates, with Abu Dhabi itself to become home to a team representing the Knight Riders franchise from Kolkata.
Before the domestic campaign begins, the country’s leading players are also set for a busy schedule of international games.
After playing a Cricket World Cup League 2 series in Scotland in August, the national team are due to travel for the qualifying round of the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.
They have also qualified for round one of the T20 World Cup in October.
Many of the country’s leading players missed the last season of the T10, due to a clash with the national team’s tour of Namibia in the Cricket World Cup league.
In their absence, the league continued to thrive. According to data released by the organisers, the league’s total economic impact value in 2021 was $621.2 million.
They also stated the tournament “reached 342 million television and over-the-top digital viewers, in turn increasing Abu Dhabi T10's sponsorship value by 81 percent to $279.3 million”.
“Through our partnership with the Abu Dhabi T10, we have further positioned Abu Dhabi as a major sporting global hub and consistently demonstrated the city's ability to both build, and host, one of cricket's most entertaining competitions,” Aref Al Awani, the general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, was quoted as saying in a press release.
“This is evidence of the success of a significant strategic objective of the Abu Dhabi government; to create and deliver sporting events that contribute to enhancing the emirate’s leadership in global sports.”
The tournament's format is set to stay the same for the 2022 season, with each team playing 10 league fixtures before the top four sides advance to the playoffs and final.
“The past three editions of the Abu Dhabi T10 have proven that 10-over cricket has both a thriving market and engaged international audience,” Matt Boucher, Abu Dhabi Cricket’s chief executive, said.