The Player’s Draft for the 2023 edition of the Abu Dhabi T10 tournament was announced on Monday, with all eight participating teams revealing their lists of retained players and direct signings. These teams include the Bangla Tigers, Chennai Braves, Deccan Gladiators, Delhi Bulls, Morrisville Samp Army, New York Strikers, Northern Warriors, and Team Abu Dhabi.
The 2023 season attracted a total of 782 players from around the world, including renowned international cricket stars. Among them, former Pakistan legend Shahid Afridi and compatriots like Mohammad Hafeez and Wahab Riaz are listed as Icon Stars available for selection. Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal and Sri Lanka’s Dasun Shanaka are also part of the lineup.
Notable pre-signed players include former Indian cricket stars Ambati Rayudu and Yusuf Pathan. Pathan will join the Bangla Tigers, while Rayudu has signed with the Delhi Bulls.
Speaking about his participation in the upcoming Abu Dhabi T10 season, Yusuf Pathan expressed his excitement, saying, “The 10-over format is exciting, and I am always delighted to be a part of the league. My aim is to entertain the fans and help my team win the trophy this season.”
In terms of player retentions, the 2022 champions, Deccan Gladiators, retained the explosive Nicholas Pooran, who was the leading run-scorer in the previous season. The Chennai Braves retained Captain Sikandar Raza.
Pakistan pacer Hassan Ali was pre-signed by the Chennai Braves, while the defending champions secured the services of kiwi speedster Trent Boult. Morrisville Samp Army added former South Africa Captain Faf du Plessis to their lineup.
The runners-up of the last season, New York Strikers, retained former West Indies Captain Kieron Pollard, while Morrisville Samp Army retained Moeen Ali. Team Abu Dhabi kept key players Philip Salt and Alex Hales in their squad.
Northern Warriors retained allrounder Wanindu Hasaranga, while Bangla Tigers held onto veteran Shakib al Hasan. Delhi Bulls retained dynamic Windies allrounder Dwayne Bravo.
The upcoming draft will also feature England spinner Adil Rashid and Australia’s batsman Chris Lynn in the Platinum category, along with other notable players.
Shaji Ul Mulk, Chairman of T10 Global, expressed his thoughts on the upcoming draft, saying, “The franchises have made their first moves with smart player retentions and direct signings. Some selections may come as a surprise, indicating the teams already have a few tricks up their sleeves, promising another high-octane draft day and an even more exciting edition of the Abu Dhabi T10.”
Cricket’s fastest format continues to grow, and the tournament aims to provide the most entertaining cricket possible. The Abu Dhabi T10 has received support from partners such as the Department of Culture & Tourism – Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and Abu Dhabi Cricket & Sports Hub.