For Pakistan-born Zimbabwean all-rounder Sikandar Raza, the highly-anticipated seventh edition of Abu Dhabi T10 is another chance to play his favourite sport at his ‘home away from home’. Raza has been a part of ‘Cricket’s Fastest Format’ for the past few years and has garnered massive popularity among local fans. Last season, the right-handed batter was also named the Captain of the Chennai Braves, a position he has retained for the coming edition.
“UAE feels like my home away from home,” Raza said, ahead of Abu Dhabi T10 2023 which will begin on November 28th. “I get a lot of love and respect in this part of the world. I have made a lot of good friends who have become my family. We often spend time together and remain in touch, and hence, I really enjoy my time in this city.”
Raza, who was one of the key players for the Chennai Braves in the 2022-23 season, represented the team at the 2023 Players’ Draft earlier this month and helped his side make strategic picks for the coming season. The Chennai Braves bolstered their bowling attack on the draft day, adding England pacer Sam Cook and veteran South Africa spinner Imran Tahir among their ranks, along with Hassan Ali, who joined the team as the Asian Super Star.
“I am very excited to be a part of the seventh edition of Abu Dhabi T10 League. This was my first time being part of the draft and it was absolutely nerve-wracking. There is a lot of reading, and researching that goes behind the scenes before the draft. It requires one to stay sharp at all times as a lot of things keep changing on the spot. I am really looking forward to the next season.”
After thrilling fans for several years with exciting cricketing action in Abu Dhabi, the T10 format became global in 2023, travelling across the USA, and Zimbabwe, and will also be on its way to Sri Lanka in December. Raza believes the format has developed tremendously and has now helped players across all other forms of the sport as well.
Raza also praised cricket fans in Abu Dhabi and explained how their presence adds to the overall atmosphere during the season and praised Abu Dhabi Cricket and Sports Hub for providing the best facilities