Abu Dhabi [UAE], December 21 (ANI): Former West Indies cricketer and T20 stalwart Chris Gayle can't wait to feature in the Abu Dhabi T10 league. Gayle, the first player to smash 1,000 sixes in T20 cricket, has said the shorter the format, the more exciting the game becomes for him.
"The shorter the format, the more exciting the game becomes, I can't wait to play at the Zayed Cricket Stadium again, watch out Abu Dhabi -- a Gayle storm is coming!" said Gayle, who will play for Team Abu Dhabi said in a statement.
The eight sides, which will lock horns from January 28 to February 6, are Team Abu Dhabi, Maratha Arabians, Bangla Tigers, Deccan Gladiators, Qalandars, Delhi Bulls, Northern Warriors, and the Karnataka Tuskers who have been rebranded and will be known as Pune Devils.
This season of the Abu Dhabi T10 will see the world's best take part, including the six-hitting West Indian machine Andre Russell, Pakistan's Shahid Afridi.
The Qalandars boasts World T20 winner and Pakistani legend Shahid Afridi in their ranks. He held the record for the fastest century in the ODI format for more than 17 years.
"I look forward to coming back to the Abu Dhabi T10 and playing in one most stunning stadiums in the world" said Afridi.
Dwayne Bravo is the former captain of the West Indies cricket team and the Delhi Bulls have seized the opportunity and signed the West Indian all-rounder as their player for this season.
The batsmen provide the entertainment with sixes and fours, but it's the bowlers who are key in winning tournaments in a quick-paced format such as this one.
Deccan Gladiators' player Sunil Narine will be a vital inclusion to the team. Sunil's claim to fame came in 2009 when he picked up all 10 wickets during a trial match and was picked up in the Trinidad and the Tobago squad.
"Although we have hosted numerous local and international cricket events in the past, our commitment to host the second season of Abu Dhabi T10 enhances our gold star portfolio of world-class destination sporting events," said Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
The defending champions Maratha Arabians have decided to back experience for this season as they have signed the World T20-winning player Shoaib Malik as their icon player. The former Pakistan captain will lead the Arabians side for this season of the ADT10.
Isuru Udana is set to showcase his slower ball variations as the icon player for the Bangla Tigers. The Sri Lankan has come to be known as a T20 specialist in the world of franchise cricket thanks to his performances in the Indian Premier League and Afghanistan Premier League. (ANI)