T10 Abu Dhabi: Who’s playing? How does the format work? When are the games?

The 2021 T10 Abu Dhabi League starts this week, with some of the biggest names in limited-overs cricket set to feature.

Played across 10 days at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Cricket Stadium, the likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Tom Banton will be hoping to blast their sides to victory.

With every game live on Sky Sports, we take a look at how the tournament works, who’s playing and when the fixtures will be played…

  • Full coverage details on Sky Sports
  • Flower excited for T10 tournament

How does the tournament work?

This is the fourth edition of the T10 Abu Dhabi League after it was postponed last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Maratha Arabians are the defending champions and are joined by seven other teams, who are split into two four-team groups.

Abu Dhabi T10 Groups

Each team plays three group games and then all eight teams go into the Super League phase. Four teams advance from the Super League into the play-offs, with the top two facing off for a spot in the final.

The losing team gets another chance against the winner of the match between the third and fourth-ranked teams, with the winner of that contest going to the final.

In total there are 29 matches to be played across 10 days from January 28 to February 6.

What is a T10 game?

It’s much like a T20 game, but shorter.

Each side bats for 10 overs, the game lasts 90 minutes and there is a 10-minute break between innings.

Bowlers have a maximum of two overs and the powerplay, when the fielding side is allowed a maximum of two players outside the inner circle, lasts for three overs.

We could watch this all day 😍

The Universe Boss makes it look so easy 👑🔥

Go behind-the-scenes as @henrygayle warms up for the #AbuDhabiT10 on Day 1️⃣ of training with @TeamADCricket 😎🏏#InAbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/TLictGmVqV

Who’s playing?

Limited-overs legend Chris Gayle is the star name and will be the ‘icon player’ for Team Abu Dhabi.

Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo will represent Northern Warriors and Delhi Bulls respectively while spinner Sunil Narine is the ‘icon’ chosen by Deccan Gladiators.

T10 Abu Dhabi League squad lists

Qalandars will be led by Pakistan legend Shahid Afridi while Afif Hossain (Bangla Tigers), Shoaib Malik (Maratha Arabians), Nicholas Pooran (Northern Warriors) and Dawid Malan (Pune Devils) are the other ‘icon’ players.

There are 14 England players set to take part, with Alex Hales and Sam Billings potentially coming over from the Big Bash – which is nearing its conclusion – and Tom Banton, Chris Jordan, Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright also featuring.

Chris Lynn was the top scorer last time out with 371 runs, including the most fours (29) and most sixes (31) in the tournament, but he will not be playing this year.

Former England head coach Andy Flower will coach Delhi Bulls while Jonty Rhodes takes charge of Pune Devils and Mushtaq Ahmed is the coach of Deccan Gladiators.

How can I watch the tournament?

Every game will be shown live on Sky Sports Cricket or Sky Sports Mix, starting with a triple header on Thursday, January 28.

Maratha Arabians face Northern Warriors in the opening game from midday before Karnataka Tuskers take on Deccan Gladiators and Delhi Bulls meet Bangla Tigers.

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