Before the Indian Premier League (IPL) attracts fans in 2021, the Abu Dhabi T10 League shall provide the much-needed entertainment. The T10 league is set to take place from January 28 to February 6.
As many as eight teams will battle out for the coveted trophy, and they have been divided into two groups of four each.
Group A comprise of Maratha Arabians, Northern Warriors, Bangla Tigers and Delhi Bulls. Similarly, the Group B features Deccan Qalandars, Team Abu Dhabi, the Gladiators and Pune Devils.
The unique concept of T10 league has attracted cricketers from all parts of the world, especially those with limited chances in domestic cricket, or at the end of their professional career.
However, the participation of Indian players is a rarity be it in T10 or any other overseas league—the reason behind this some strict rules implemented by BCCI. Only retired cricketers with a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Indian board can play in such tournaments.
In the past, some household India names like Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan have taken a part of the T10 league. In the upcoming edition, as many as four Indian players will feature in the tournament. Let’s have a look at who are these players and which are the teams they will represent.
1.) Pravin Tambe (Maratha Arabians)
Veteran Indian player Pravin Tambe who was last spotted in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020, turns 50 this year, but his passion for the fascinating sport doesn’t seem to trim at all.
After being disqualified from the IPL 2020 auction due to his overseas leagues’ participation, Tambe now plays cricket outside India.
Tambe has featured in first-class cricket and the IPL, representing Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Gujarat Lions (GL). He also took part in the 2018 T10 League. In the 2021 season of T10, Tambe will ply his trade for Arabians.
2.) Ishan Malhotra (Maratha Arabians)
Ishan Malhotra is a bowling all-rounder, who made his first-class debut for Punjab back in 2002. However, in 2008, he joined the rebel ICL tournament and played two seasons, before returning to the domestic circuit.
Ishan debuted in IPL while playing for Deccan Chargers in 2011 under Kumar Sangakkara’s captaincy but faded away soon after. He hasn’t played a T20 game since 2012. Ishan will now feature in the Arabians.
3.) Prashant Gupta (Deccan Gladiators)
Prashant Gupta came into limelight after smashing a 58-ball century during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2014. He then played a vital role in Uttar Pradesh’s winning campaign in the tournament the following season.
Prashant has featured in 21 first-class matches, 26 List A games and 37 T20s. But in 2019, he announced his retirement from domestic cricket to participate in overseas leagues. Deccan Gladiators have picked Prashant for T10 league 2021.
4.) Imtiyaz Ahamad (Deccan Gladiators)
Like Prashant, his former Uttar Pradesh teammate, Imtiyaz Ahmad too has joined the Gladiators for the 2021 season of the T10 league.
Imtiyaz is a medium-pace bowler who has played 45 first-class games for UP, picking 138 wickets at 31.00. He was selected by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Pune Warriors India in IPL but never played any game.
Imtiyaz last played his T20 game in 2017. Interestingly, both Imtiyaz and Prashant quit domestic cricket at the same time, in order to pursue their career in overseas leagues.