DUBAI: England’s star all-rounder Moeen Ali is confident that Morrisville Samp Army will win the Abu Dhabi T10 League 2023 title this year.
Moeen Ali is the captain of Samp Army franchise, which is one of the eight cricket teams participating in the latest edition of the tournament that gets under way on November 28 (Tuesday) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
“We had missed out on the last occasion. We came agonizingly close to winning the title but missed it by a whisker. We are confident of putting up a better performance this time around to emerge victorious,” stressed Moeen Ali.
“We have a very strong squad. There are hard-hitting batsmen, ferocious pacers and wily spinners. It is a well-balanced squad. I think we stand a great chance of winning the title,” added the England all-rounder who came out of retirement earlier this year to play in the Ashes against Australia.
Abu Dhabi T10 League is one of its kind of tournament in the world. It is the shortest-format league of cricket, which is sanctioned by the International Cricket Council, is affiliated with the Emirates Cricket Board and organsied under the patronage of Abu Dhabi Cricket Council.
Defending champions Deccan Gladiators and New York Strikers will get the ball rolling in the opening game of the tournament.
Apart from these two teams and Morrisville Samp Army, other participating sides include Northern Warriors, Delhi Bulls, Team Abu Dhabi, Bengal Tigers and Chennai Brave.
The tournament will run for 12 days from November 28 to December 9.
After the completion of the primarily round, the final top four teams will qualify for the playoffs. Qualifier 1 will witness top two teams take on each other on December 8 whereas the third and fourth team will play the Eliminator. The winner of the Eliminator will play the loser of Qualifier 1 for a place in the final while the winner of the Qualifier 1 will directly move into the title showdown.
Samp Army, who finished in second spot in the 2022 edition, will start their campaign against Northern Warriors in the second match of the opening day.
Samp Army owner Ritesh Patel said they are into expansion mode. “We are expanding our franchise. We are already having teams in US and Zimbabwe version of T10 tournaments. We are exploring more opportunities to spread our wings,” he explained.
Moeen also feels that some changes will take place in the England squad after England’s dismal performance in the 2023 ODI World Cup.
Coming into the showpiece event as firm favourites, England crashed out of the World Cup before the knockout stage.
“It was a very disappointing performance by us. We failed to deliver in every aspect of the game. We didn’t play to our potential. I hope there will be some big changes in the England team,” said Moeen Ali, who was speaking on the sidelines of press conference in Dubai.