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Deccan Gladiators captain Nicholas Pooran, Northen Warriors skipper Angelo Mathews eye record third trophy

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In anticipation of another explosive season of cricket’s fastest format, Abu Dhabi T10 2023 edition, announced the captains for the season at a press conference held in Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. West Indies heavy hitter Nicholas Pooran, who led Deccan Gladiators to a title win in the previous edition has been retained as a Captain by the defending Champions for the upcoming seventh edition, which will take place between November 28th and December 9th. Meanwhile, the runners-up of last season New York Strikers and Morrisville Samp Army will also continue with veteran allrounders Kieron Pollard and Moeen Ali as Captains, respectively.

The remaining teams made a change in leadership as Sikandar Raza handed over the reins for The Chennai Braves to Charith Asalanka, whilst Northern Warriors named Angelo Mathews as Captain, and Delhi Bulls named Rovman Powell as skipper for the season. Team Abu Dhabi picked Dwaine Pretorius to lead the side whilst Bangla Tigers made a surprise pick in Benny Howell as Captain.

All the Captains, in attendance at the Press Conference made their intentions clear for the season. Pooran, who was also the highest run-scorer of the last season with 345 runs in 10 matches at an average of 49.29 and a strike rate of 234.69, said that he wishes to win the record third title for Gladiators this season.

“It was a good season for me the last time around, and I was happy to contribute to the team’s success, not only as Captain but also as a batsman. Our target this year is to retain the trophy and we will continue to play the kind of cricket we like to play. It would be an honour for me to lead Gladiators to a record third title this time around. I am ready to take up any role the team wants me to,” Pooran said.

Presently, Gladiators and Northern Warriors are the only two teams to have won two titles. The Warriors have made a strong choice in Mathews as skipper, who has been one of the most successful Captains for Sri Lanka in international cricket.

“I am grateful to be considered to lead Northern Warriors, a franchise that has already achieved massive success in this league. Warriors have already won two trophies and I would love to bring the trophy back to the team so that we all can script history together. This is an exciting format, and the fans can expect big things from our side in the 7th season,” Mathews said.

Meanwhile, Strikers and Morrisville will look to use Pollard and Moeen’s familiarity with the format once again to boost their chances of getting their hands on the trophy. Pollard said he wants to finish the job this season.

“We came so close to winning the title last season, but the final was a lesson for us. We now know the temperament that is needed in big matches, and we will look to use that knowledge to our advantage. We have a solid squad, and we are ready to go all the way this time,” he said.

Moeen Ali said that such a quick format is a test of players’ skills. “While one may feel that T10 is all about big shots, and heavy hitting, it is also about recognising and adapting to situations quickly and efficiently when you are out there. In such a short time, anything can happen. We must be ready for Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C and if we do that, we will be in a good position to win the whole thing.”

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka top-order batter Asalanka will be leading the side in place for Raza, and he admitted he has big shoes to fill. “Sikandar Raza enjoys a massive fan following and support in this part of the world. I am excited to take over the reins as Captain for the Braves and will look forward to leading the team. We must take one game at a time, but our goal is to make the playoffs and set ourselves up for a chance to play in the all-important Final.”

Delhi’s choice of giving Captaincy to Powell is another interesting move as the West Indies batting allrounder led Northern Warriors last season and scored 196 runs in 7 matches at a whopping strike rate of 245. “I was in good form in the previous edition and also gained experience in leading a team in this format. Now, with a new squad and a new franchise, I am even more motivated to perform. We want to see Delhi Bulls get their hands on the trophy once again – and we must stick to our plans in in order to do so,” Powell said.

Team Abu Dhabi decided to put their stocks on bowlers during the draft, and backing their bowling unit, named South Africa speedster Pretorius as the Captain. In 10 games last season, Pretorius was the leading wicket-taker with 12 scalps to his name at an average of 13.08.

“This is a good chance for me to change the mindset that short formats are only for the batters. The bowlers also have an equally important role to play, especially fast bowlers who start the attack with the new ball. They have very little time to get used to the track and implement their plans and get crucial wickets in the first three overs, and that is what we will try to do in every game,” Pretorious said.

Bangla Tigers, meanwhile, have named veteran English domestic talent Benny Howell and are banking on his experience to make their way into the top four. “I am delighted to lead Bangla Tigers as Captain this year. It is an important year for us – as we want to make it to top four. We have an impeccable squad, but we will have to work together as a collective unit. If we can all perform to our abilities, we are hard to beat,” he signed off.

Abu Dhabi T10 2023 will be broadcast on CricLife3 available on Etisalat, Elife IPTV, Switch TV, and Starzplay in UAE-MENA. It will also be aired in Pakistan on channel A Sports and live streamed on TapMad. Indian fans can watch the season on Viacom Sports 18 2 (Hindi) and on Jio Cinema app. The tournament this season, will also air on Supreme TV in Sri Lanka, on BT Sport in the United Kingdom, on ESPN in the Caribbean, on Willow TV in North America, on T Sports in Bangladesh, and Fox Sports in Australia.

Cricket fans in UAE can buy the Abu Dhabi Season 7 Tickets online for just AED 10 via: https://events.q-tickets.com/uae/eventdetails/4013826602/abu-dhabi-t10-season-7.

Entertainment

Enrique Iglesias to perform at Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena this September

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Global superstar Enrique Iglesias is returning to Dubai for a concert at Coca-Cola Arena on Friday, September 13.

Iglesias, who is known for his infectious dance tracks and chart-topping ballads, has sold over 180 million records worldwide in a career spanning well over two decades and is one of the world’s most streamed and viewed artists with over 40 billion streams across all platforms. 

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He has received countless awards as a singer and songwriter, with a legacy of hits that have made him a global phenomenon.

Fans will be singing and dancing the night away to a setlist including the likes of HeroBailamos, Escape and Tonight. 

This will be Enrique Iglesias’ first concert at Coca-Cola Arena having last played in Dubai at the Jazz Festival in 2017.

Exclusive presale tickets to see Enrique Iglesias in Dubai will be available from 8am on Wednesday, 29 May for 24 hours. General tickets will then go on sale on Thursday, 30 May at 8am.

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Saadiyat Cultural District in Abu Dhabi set for completion in 2025

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The Saadiyat Cultural District is on track for completion by the end of 2025, the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi has announced.

Saadiyat Cultural District is a global platform, emanating from a rich cultural heritage, celebrating traditions, and advancing equitable culture. It is an embodiment of empowerment, showcasing museums, collections, and narratives that celebrate the region’s heritage while promoting a diverse global cultural landscape.

Once completed, the diversity of Saadiyat Cultural District’s institutions will make the district one of the most unique cultural platforms. It is already the home of Louvre Abu Dhabi – the first universal museum in the Arab world – showcasing artworks from different cultures side by side and telling a story of human connections. Since opening in 2017, Louvre Abu Dhabi has welcomed 5 million visitors and is recognised for its breathtaking architecture and its innovative narrative. Nearby, Berklee Abu Dhabi offers music, performing arts and educational programmes throughout the year.

Additionally, Manarat Al Saadiyat serves as a centre for creative artistic expression and is home to two significant initiatives in Abu Dhabi’s cultural calendar: Abu Dhabi Art and Culture Summit Abu Dhabi.

The current construction progress of the soon-to-open institutions in Saadiyat Cultural District stands at 76 percent. Zayed National Museum, the national museum of the United Arab Emirates, will celebrate the nation’s rich history and culture, as well as honour the legacy of the country’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Additionally, teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi invites visitors to an ever-changing exploration that will transcend the limits of their imagination.

It will be joined by the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi, which will include a research and teaching institution that will take visitors on a 13.8 billion-year journey through the story of our universe and our planet. Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will be a museum celebrating art from the 1960s to the present and the most important artistic achievements of our time.

Saadiyat Cultural District pays homage to the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed, who defined the cultural agenda and unveiled the history of the UAE to the world through archaeological excavations and findings. This legacy began with the establishment of Al Ain Museum, the first museum in the UAE, which opened in 1971. This was followed by the inauguration of the Cultural Foundation in 1981. Sheikh Zayed’s legacy continued to evolve under the guidance of the late Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Today, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and H.H. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, continue to build on that legacy.

Mohamed Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “Culture transcends mere connections; it shapes our very evolution and broadens our perspectives. Here in Abu Dhabi, we embrace this influence, fostering a deep appreciation that resonates throughout our community. Saadiyat Cultural District embodies ‘cultural hope’. The District will convey a message of cultural diversity that will become more powerful over time, creating global connections, inspiring cultural exchange, and fostering new ways of thinking to support the region, the global South and the world. Saadiyat Cultural District is somewhere people can come to learn from the past, understand our present and focus on our future.”

Saadiyat Cultural District is a testament to Abu Dhabi’s commitment to preserving heritage while embracing a forward-looking vision. The District invites the world to engage with diverse cultures, fostering dialogue and exchange, and offers a global cultural space that empowers the region and the global south.

DCT Abu Dhabi has also launched a compelling campaign titled ‘Be Moved in a Thousand Ways’, introduced by philanthropist, talk show host and author Oprah Winfrey and broadcaster Mona El Shazli. The campaign film delivers an inspirational message on the transformative power of culture to unite, inspire, and open minds. Contributors to the campaign include Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi; Zaki Nusseibeh, Cultural Adviser to the UAE President and Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU); Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of State; Norman Foster, Pritzker Architecture Prize-winner and architect of the Zayed National Museum; Mariët Westermann, Director and CEO of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, celebrated artists Mohammed Ibrahim, Najat Makki, Afra Al Dhaheri from the UAE; multi-award winning Actor, Musician and Entrepreneur Idris Elba OBE; legendary pianist Lang Lang and many more.

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UFC Fight Night set for August 3 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi

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UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organisation, returns to Abu Dhabi for an action-packed fight as No. 2 ranked bantamweight Cory Sandhagen faces No. 9 ranked Umar Nurmagomedov on August 3.

Tickets for the event, to be held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), go on sale on Tuesday via etihadarena.ae and ticketmaster.ae.

Sandhagen (17-4, fighting out of Aurora, Colorado) returns to the UAE capital to cement his status as top contender in the bantamweight division. The Colorado native boasts wins over Rob Font, Chito Vera, and soon-to-be UFC Hall of Famer Frankie Edgar. He now hopes for a convincing win over rising star Nurmagomedov to make his case for a title shot.

Nurmagomedov (17-0, fighting out of Chelyabinsk, Russia) looks to put the division on notice by taking out a top-ranked opponent and making his first Octagon appearance in Abu Dhabi.

Nurmagomedov made his mark in the division after delivering dominant performances over Raoni Barcelos, Brian Kelleher and Sergey Morozov. Now, he sets his sights on securing the biggest win of his career by getting his hand raised against Sandhagen.

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