West Indies batting superstar Chris Gayle is set to headline the inaugural Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy set to be staged here in October.
The left-hander, the most successful T20 batsman of all time, will turn out for Afghan side Boost Defenders which will be one of six teams contesting the October 4-6 tournament at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
English side Yorkshire Vikings, Big Bash franchise Hobart Hurricanes, Lahore Qalanders of the Pakistan Super League and South Africa’s Multiply Titans will join Boost Defenders, with the final team yet to be announced by organisers.
The tournament will be staged by Abu Dhabi Cricket, under the umbrella of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and has gained the support of the International Cricket Council the Emirates Cricket Board.
“All the ingredients are there,” ECB chief executive David East said.
“The ever-improving facilities, the fan base, the support of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and ADC’s proven organisational expertise in world-class events all set the scene for a wonderful event which we hope to see expand annually.”
Over 20 000 spectators per day are expected to watch the array of stars which include England’s Tymal Mills and Gary Ballance, Pakistan’s leg spinner Yasir Shah, South Africa seamer Albie Morkel.
However, the 38-year-old Gayle is expected to be the biggest drawing card. The former West Indies Test captain has emerged as the most dominant batsman in the game’s shortest format, compiling 11 454 runs at an average of 40 and a strike rate of 143.
He has blasted 21 hundreds.
No other batsman has passed 10 000 runs in the T20 format, with New Zealander Brendon McCullum the closest with 9 119 runs.