New York Strikers bank on right mix of youth and experience at Abu Dhabi T10

Kieron Pollard to lead team with England great Eoin Morgan giving support

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - November 24, 2019: Fans during the final between the Deccan Gladiators and the Maratha Arabians in the Abu Dhabi T10 league. Sunday, November 24th, 2017 at Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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The Abu Dhabi T10 will be back for its sixth edition at the end of November, promising a fresh start in the form of two new franchises.

There will be a distinct American flavour this season with the addition of two new teams from across the Atlantic – New York Strikers and Morrisville Samp Army.

Both teams have a strong presence in American cricket and are looking to expand their global presence.

The team from New York may be new but enter the tournament with some heavy hitters from franchise cricket. They will be captained by West Indies legend Kieron Pollard and supported by the likes of England great Eoin Morgan, Pakistan quick Wahab Riaz and Ireland veteran Paul Stirling.

For Strikers coach Carl Crowe, the mix of youth and experience in the side is one of its strong points.

"The beauty of our squad is the mix of youth and experience," the Englishman said. "Guys like Pollard, Morgan, Riaz, Ravi Rampaul ... these guys have fantastic experience in World Cups, winning important tournaments. We also have some exciting youngsters like Akeal Hosein, Tom Hartley, Izharulhaq Naveed, players who have done well in franchise tournaments.

"With Polly as captain, he is going to be crucial in deciding team make-up, balance. We are really pleased with that. We wanted a well-balanced team, and we got that."

Since T10 is a condensed version of an already hectic 20-over format, the requirements for it are equally bespoke. Coach Crowe said practice for the 10-over format has to show the same level of urgency that is required during the game.

"One of the exciting things about T10 is that you have to get going straightaway. Your practice needs to reflect that. When you are bowling, you don't ease into it. In batting, you might get a short time to bat. But you are practising for game time from ball one.

"The game moves very quickly, and your practice must reflect that. With that, while the game is moving quickly, you have to be calm inside your head."

Team owner Sagar Khanna is equally excited about the new venture. The prospect of moving outside the familiarity of the American market and into the Gulf region fills him with excitement.

"We are a successful franchise in US and had to take a step outside. We have won many championships in the US. Our vision is to take the franchise globally. Abu Dhabi T10 is very popular and good step for us. The UAE is the hub for franchise and international cricket as well."

The team will have former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh as mentor. The tournament will take place from November 23 to December 4.

Abu Dhabi T10 team of the tournament for 2021

Updated: November 01, 2022, 4:27 AM