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The players who are set to light up Zayed Cricket Stadium for the inaugural Abu Dhabi T10 were locked into place at a glittering ceremony last night. The annual player draft in the nation’s capital saw 110 players allocated to eight teams, as well as a host of superstars unveiled for the first time.

The drama-filled event allowed franchises just three minutes to select the players that would make or break their teams’ success in the showpiece 10-day tournament. With big name cricketers up for grabs such as Mohammed Hafeez, Kieron Pollard, Shoaib Malik and Adil Rashid, tension crackled as players were snapped up by the franchises.

Speaking on the side-lines of the draft, CEO of Abu Dhabi Cricket, Matthew Boucher, said: “It has been an electrifying evening filled with a lot of anticipation and excitement. The teams had to make quick and snappy decisions about who they feel could steer their team to glory next month, and there have been some closely guarded strategies across the course of the night.

“The lists of names have now grown into some formidable team sheets, and with everything now assembled, we can’t wait to experience the drama and passion of T10 cricket with local fans and those around the world.”

Defending champions Northern Warriors opted for a strong West Indies side in the draw, with Darren Sammy already confirmed as the team’s icon player. The famed Andre Russell joined Sammy with three other of his compatriots, bringing the West Indies’ contingent of the team to five. Pakistan’s Wahab Riaz’s expertise was brought on board thanks to his fast-paced bowling, as part of a line-up focused on providing speedy deliveries. The Northern Warriors will begin their title defence against the Maratha Arabians on November 15.

The newest addition to the Abu Dhabi T10 tournament, Team Abu Dhabi, made some well strategized decisions during the draft, placing an emphasis on a strong bowling side. With Moeen Ali already selected as the team’s icon player, the team had successful coups with Sri Lankan powerhouse Niroshan Dickwella, Kiwi all-rounder Corey Anderson, and left-handed fast bowler Mohammad Amir. The team will present a stiff bowling line-up for its opponents.

Revealed as the mystery eighth team, Team Abu Dhabi is supported by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and will be trained by former England coach, Trevor Bayliss, and coach of the UAE National Cricket Team, Dougie Brown.

The Maratha Arabians chose a balanced team, opting for a mixture of a fast bowling attack and a strong batting line-up. With icon player and right-handed big hitter Chris Lynn at the helm, the team brought in the iconic Lasith Malinga in the first round of draws, ensuring the team would garner a strong following with Sri Lankan fans. West Indies heroes Dwayne Bravo and Chadwick Walton were brought on board, bringing a strong and diverse team to the table.

The West Indies all-rounder, Kieron Pollard, was quickly snapped up by the Deccan Gladiators. With Shane Watson as the icon player, the Gladiators favoured a team that was strongly led by all-rounders, with five eventually making it into the team. With a bowling line-up that mixed experience in the shape of Fawad Ahmed and the UAE’s Zahoor Khan with young talent such as England’s Mason Crane, the Deccan Gladiators adopted a varied line-up, allowing the team flexibility as they build up for the showpiece event.

The Gladiators’ first opponent on November 15 will be the Delhi Bulls, led by world-cup winning captain, Eoin Morgan. The Bulls pulled in former Pakistan captain, Shoaib Malik, to further buoy their strong batting line-up, which also includes Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi, Sri Lanka’s Kusal Perera, and Pakistan’s Aamer Yamin. England’s leg-spinning magician, Adil Rashid, was chosen to lead the bowling, which contains a variety of pace and spin. The team chose players from all corners of the globe, including Irishman Paul Sterling, the Dutchman Tobias Visee, and American Ali Khan, presenting a team with a strong mix of both batting power and bowling talent.

Shahid Afridi was joined by his fellow Pakistani teammate, as Team Qalandars opted to bring in “The Professor” with Mohammad Hafeez. Hafeez and Afridi joined a team comprised of 10 Pakistani players, with Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf also entering the fray. The team presents a bombastic batting line-up, capable of smashing balls far beyond the boundaries of Zayed Cricket Stadium, and setting high targets for teams to chase. Chris Jordan will bring his skills with the ball to a bowling squad comprised of both spin and speed. Tickets will be scarce when Team Qalandars meet Team Abu Dhabi on the opening night of the Abu Dhabi T10 on November 15.

Similar to Team Qalandars, the Bangla Tigers opted to focus on big hitting as their strategy for a chance to clutch the Abu Dhabi T10 Trophy, bringing in 12 players with impressive batting skills. Former limited overs captain, Sri Lankan Thisara Perera, serves as the team’s icon player, and will be joined by names such as West Indies’ Andre Fletcher and South Africa’s Colin Ingram. The Tigers’ batsmen will be looking to pounce against the Deccan Gladiators in their first match of the tournament on November 16.

The Karnataka Tuskers took the opposite strategic tactic to the Tigers, opting for a team that places a heavy emphasis on a predominantly speedy bowling line-up. With icon player and big hitter Hashim Amla in attendance at the draw, the Tuskers brought on bowlers such as Nepalese Sandeep Lamichhane, promising English talent Pat Brown, and the slow-left orthodox Emirati player, Ahmed Raza. With batsmen joining Hashim at the crease including Evin Lewis and Johnson Charles, the Tuskers made sure they also had a strong batting powerhouse to provide stability in a format that can twist at each and every turn.

Tickets for the Abu Dhabi T10 start from the special price of AED 10, and will allow spectators to watch up to three matches a day. To book tickets, or to receive hospitality information, please visit:

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Abu Dhabi veteran Al Qemzi says team comes first but his sights are set on F1H2O crown

Team Abu Dhabi’s Thani Al Qemzi is ready for one of the biggest tests of his long powerboat racing career in China this weekend as he chases his dream to win the UIM F1H2O World Championship.

With two qualifying sessions and two Grand Prix being sandwiched into the space of 24 hours and 40 points at stake, Al Qemzi and reigning world champion team-mate Shaun Torrente know the battle for honours could be won and lost in the crucial double header in Xiamen.

Lying third in the title race behind leader Torrente and Sweden’s Jonas Andersson, the vastly experienced Al Qemzi, who made his race debut back in 2000, is determined to end his wait for the world crown, with the final round of the series to follow in Sharjah in December.

“I think I can make my dream come true this year because I have a big opportunity to win the world title,” said the veteran Emirati driver. “With back to back races like this the biggest worry is that a crash or a mechanical problem could mean goodbye to the title.

“But it’s rare for me to crash and I’ve been preparing myself for what’s ahead. It’s going to be a really tough weekend and we have to be fully focused in the qualifiers and the two races and leave nothing to chance.”

The bond between Al Qemzi and Torrente is strong as they fight for the driver’s championship and at the same time look to deliver a second successive world team title to Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club.

“For me the team comes first and it’s the same for Shaun, and we all work hard together,” said Al Qemzi. “But I also have my own ambitions and if I have a chance to win the title I’ll take it.”

Like Torrente, Al Qemzi has scored eight Grand Prix victories in his career, along with 38 podium finishes out of 135 race starts. He finished world championship runner-up in 2009 to his current Team Abu Dhabi boss Guido Cappellini.

Also facing a crucial weekend in Xiamen are Team Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Al Mehairbi and Rashed Al Remeithi who are both aiming to boost their challenge in the F4-S series ahead of the season’s climax in the UAE.

The dramatic weekend ahead, which sees Saturday’s Grand Prix of Xiamen being followed on Sunday by the Grand Prix of China, was created by the postponement of the Grand Prix of next month’s round in India.

Drivers standings

  1. Shaun Torrente UAE 35pts
  2. Jonas Andersson SWE 32 pts
  3. Thani Al Qemzi UAE 27pts
  4. Peter Morin FRA 16pts
  5. Marit Stromoy SWE 16pts
  6. Bartek Marszalek POL 8pts

Team standings

  1. Team Abu Dhabi 62pts
  2. Team Amaravati 32pts
  3. Emirates Racing 24pts
  4. CTIC F1 Shenzhen China 16pts
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Emirati world champion claims another freestyle pole position as Al Tayer aims to stay on title trail

Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashid Al Mulla underlined his status as the world’s top aquabikes freestyle rider with another dominant display in the Grand Prix of Qingdao in China today.

The reigning world champion stayed on course for back-to-back titles by claiming pole position for this weekend’s first of two motos in the penultimate round of the 2019 UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship.

Al Mulla outscored his rivals in all categories, claiming 81 points to top the standings from Italian Roberto Mariani, his closest challenger in the freestyle title race, on 63 pts. The Emirati now heads into this weekend’s first of two motos on Saturday afternoon aiming to extend his winning sequence to a ninth successive Grand Prix.

Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Tayer meanwhile lines up in tomorrow (Friday) afternoon’s Runabout GP1 pole position race looking to recapture the form which took him to an opening round Grand Prix victory in Portugal back in May

Just two points behind Denmark’s championship leader Marcus Jorgensen, Al Tayer could manage only ninth fastest in today’s free practice session, but is aiming for a points haul this weekend which can give him a strong title chance in December’s final round in Sharjah. Team Abu Dhabi’s Salman Al Awadhi was 15th fastest in the Ski GP1 pole position qualifier.

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Team Abu Dhabi rider aims to keep alive championship challenge in Grand Prix of Qingdao

 Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Tayer is primed for a major effort in China over the next two days to keep alive his hopes of a first world aquabikes title.

With team-mate Rashid Al Mulla on the verge of a second successive freestyle crown in the UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship, Al Tayer needs to summon his best form in the Grand Prix of Qingdao after finishing sixth in today’s Runabout GP1 pole position race.

Denmark’s Marcus Jorgensen, who leads Al Tayer and Poland’s Andrzej Wisniewski by two points in the championship standings, topped qualifying to give himself the edge for the Saturday and Sunday afternoon motos to follow.

Al Tayer, who won the opening Grand Prix of the season in Portugal, wants to make sure that he at least carries a big world title challenge into December’s final round in Sharjah.

Team Abu Dhabi’s Salman Al Awadhi finished a highly creditable third today in the first of three Ski GP1 motos this weekend which was won by Austrian championship leader Kevin Reiterer.

Aiming for a ninth successive Grand Prix victory, Al Mulla starts the first of two motos in China in pole position tomorrow afternoon.

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Team Abu Dhabi rider Al Mulla wins again to stay on course for another world title

Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Tayer produced a battling performance in China today to preserve his world aquabikes title challenge as team-mate Rashed Al Mulla extended his winning sequence.

Al Tayer’s hopes of a second Grand Prix victory of the season were effectively ended when his race engine was delayed at customs en route to the Grand Prix of Qingdao, penultimate round of the UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship.

Forced to compete on a bike rented locally by the team and conceding a big power advantage, Al Tayer fought his way to seventh position in today’s first moto to hold third place overall in the world championship.

The result left him ten points behind Denmark’s championship leader Marcus Jorgensen who was beaten into second place by Kuwait’s Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq.

With a second moto rounding off the action in China tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon, Al Tayer will be aiming to secure enough points to give himself a fighting chance in December’s title deciding final round in Sharjah.

In freestyle, Al Mulla moved towards a ninth successive Grand Prix victory and a second world title by winning the first moto from Roberto Mariani to extend his championship lead over the Italian to 15 points.

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Bernd Wiesberger claimed a second Rolex Series title and shot to the summit of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai after securing a third victory of the season with a hard-fought triumph at the Italian Open.

The Austrian, who won the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and the Made in Denmark presented by FREJA earlier this season, started the final round three shots adrift of 2016 DP World Tour Championship winner Matthew Fitzpatrick. But the 34 year old carded a sublime bogey free 65 to get to 16 under par and beat the Englishman by one stroke at Olgiata Golf Club and continue his blistering season after a frustrating year in 2018 when he missed seven months through injury.

“I’ve played a lot of good golf and a lot of progress has been made after coming back from the last year,” said Wiesberger, who climbs from third to the top of the Rankings after claiming 1,165 Race to Dubai points for the victory to take his total to 4,198.3 for the season.

“I’ve won three times this year and it’s been the same every time, I’ve just really enjoyed my time and I’m positive to be back out there because I know how tough it was when I had to withdraw from these great events.

“I’ve played really well in the right events in Ireland, Scotland and here this week which helps getting up there in the Race to Dubai.

“I can’t ask for more than being in a position to play for the Race to Dubai title at the DP World Tour Championship at the end of the year.”

Fitzpatrick, who now has four runner-up finishes this season, picked up 780 Race to Dubai points to move up to fourth from sixth in the Rankings. The result puts the 25 year old in prime position for a share of the US$5 million Race to Dubai Bonus pool, which is open to the five top-ranked players following the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, a Rolex Series event.

Meanwhile, Kurt Kitayama booked a maiden appearance at Jumeirah Golf Estates after finishing third in Rome. The American, who has two European Tour victories to his name in his rookie year, jumps up 15 places to 15th in the Rankings.

Andrew Johnston, Matthias Schwab and Robert MacIntyre finished a shot further back as the trio shared fourth. Johnston puts himself back in contention of securing a spot at the DP World Tour Championship after moving up to 51st, Schwab jumps up to 31st from 45th and MacIntyre continues his surge up the Rankings after climbing to seventh.

The top 50 players in the Race to Dubai Rankings will contest the season-ending US$8 million DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai from November 21-24 where US$3 million will be up for grabs for the winner, making it the richest first prize in world tournament golf.

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Cricket excitement crackled in the air as battle lines for the upcoming Abu Dhabi T10 were set through a live team draw and schedule reveal that saw four newcomers – Bangla Tigers, Deccan Gladiators, Delhi Bulls and Karnataka Tuskers – all drawn into the same Group A, while last year’s champions, Northern Warriors, are joined in Group B by Maratha Arabians, Qalandars and the yet to be announced Team 8.

After a stunning ceremony to introduce each of the teams, team owners took turns revealing their group selections from randomly chosen tokens. The proceedings briefly took a lighter turn when each of the first four teams drew themselves into the same group, adding to the drama but dimming none of the competitive atmosphere.

Chairman of Abu Dhabi T10, Shaji Ul Mulk, stood on behalf of Team 8 but would not reveal the league’s final member, raising mystery around the future announcement. He said, “I am happy with the successful draw; now the teams know who and when they are playing and can begin to devise their competitive strategies. As for Team 8, that’s just one of the big announcements we have in store over the next few weeks as we look forward to our ticket launch on 10th October and the player draft on 16th October.”

With the draw behind them, team owners then eagerly awaited the formulation of the tournament match schedule which yielded a number of early standout marquee matchups:

  • Team Qalandars make their debut on opening day, November 15, led by Pakistani legend, Shahid Afridi
  • Northern Warriors also begin their title defence against Maratha Arabians on opening day
  • Rebranded Delhi Bulls (formerly Bengal Tigers) begin their title charge led by World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan on November 15 against Deccan Gladiators
  • Newcomers Bangla Tigers and Karnataka Tuskers face off for the first time on Sunday, November 17

As team owners now set their sights on the strategic considerations for next week’s official player draft, many of the top-name stars of international cricket have already announced their participation in the Abu Dhabi T10 and stressed the importance of the tournament in spreading the popularity of the game.

Pakistani legend Shahid Afridi, who will headline the debut of Team Qalandars on November 15 said, “It’s an honour to play for The Qalandars, who have earned a global reputation through their play in the Pakistan Super League and their development of homegrown players from Pakistan. We hope to continue our winning tradition here in Abu Dhabi. The game is fast, only 10 overs and 90 minutes, so we can expect to reach new fans to continue to grow the game of cricket.”

ICC Cricket World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan spoke of leading the Delhi Bulls into competition: “Players don’t wait to announce their intentions in T10. They just go for it from the outset and that’s my mentality and I think it’s one shared by the Bulls ownership and Coach (Stephen) Fleming. I can’t wait for our first match on 15 November where fans will get to see our fiery brand of Delhi Bulls’ cricket.”

Afridi and Morgan headline a stellar line-up of international cricketing superstars set to take the field at Zayed Cricket Stadium on 15th November. Among the other notable big names confirmed for the event are big-hitting Australian icons, Shane Watson and Chris Lynn, West Indian favourites Andre Russell, Darren Sammy and Sunil Narine, Afghan sensation Mohammad Nabi and Sri Lankan slinger Lasith Malinga. All eyes are now on the player’s draft, set for 16th October, to determine the final playing rosters.

Matthew Boucher, CEO of Abu Dhabi Cricket, said, “We have worked hard with our partners, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, and Abu Dhabi Sports Council, to bring the Abu Dhabi T10 to local and global fans who simply love the exhilaration and unique format of this game. There is huge anticipation for the tournament being hosted in Abu Dhabi and we can’t wait to welcome both players and fans next month. It’s going to be an amazing experience for everyone and will be another showcase of world-class cricket in our city.”

Team owners individually expressed their excitement for the groupings and looked forward to the draft.

Anis Sajan, owner of the Delhi Bulls, said, “We’re excited and will put up a good show. I am happy with our position in the draw. This year, the ten-over format cricket will go to new heights.”

Mohamed Morani, Owner of Northern Arabians, said, “In cricket, one team will win and one will lose. I am not concerned. We will be a strong contender to retain the title. However, it could be anybody’s game. I am very excited and looking forward to a great show.”

One of the newcomers, Bangla Tigers are also upbeat – who represent Bangladesh – one of the largest expatriate communities in the UAE.

“We will bring the Bangla flavour to Abu Dhabi T10 and make sure Bangladeshi crowd throng Zayed Cricket Stadium. I am not concerned about winning or losing. We want to turn it into a festival,” Yasin Chowdhury, Owner of Bangla Tigers, said.

Vijay Vyas, Owner of Karnataka Tuskers, said, “We are happy with our position in Group A which has all the new teams and we will put up a great show.”

Team Grouping

Group A Group B
Bangla Tigers Northern Warriors
Deccan Gladiators Maratha Arabians
Delhi Bulls Qalandars
Karnataka Tuskers Team 8
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Tickets on sale for the most electrifying Sports Event in the middle East as formula E action returns to saudi Arabia

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The Diriyah E-Prix kicks off the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship with a double-header with back to back races on November 22 and 23 at the UNESCO World Heritage site

More teams, more drivers and more action than ever before, set up a mouth-watering weekend of speed at the Diriyah Circuit. Tickets now available at

Tickets are now on sale for the most electrifying sports event in the Middle East as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship returns to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Diriyah, on the outskirts of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The 2019 Diriyah E-Prix kicks off the sixth season of the championship in style with a double-header of back to back races on November 22 and 23. Last year saw incredible scenes as a sell-out crowd flocked to the purpose-built ‘Diriyah Circuit’ racetrack, created from the streets of the Diriyah, known as the home of kings and heroes.

This year sees new rules from the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) designed to make the racing even more compelling on the track, as thousands of fans flock to the event. This year sees the debut of teams from Porsche and Mercedes-Benz in Formula E, taking the line up to 12 teams. The thrilling ATTACK MODE and FANBOOST will return to inject more tension and excitement into the racing.

The weekend not only launches the championship but also kicks off Diriyah Season, which was announced recently as a month-long festival of top-class sporting action, global entertainment and cultural activities, all happening at the stunning historic location.

At the glittering season launch event, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E driver Andre Lotterer said: “It is so exciting to be returning to Saudi Arabia and to the Diriyah Circuit. Last year I finished just outside of the podium in fifth, this year it will be exciting, and I will be pushing for success, especially as part of Porsche’s debut in Formula E. Their participation shows how this exciting sport is growing year on year.”

And motorsport legend, Felipe Masse, Formula E driver with team Venturi Racing, said: “The Diriyah Circuit is such a special track, it is a challenging one too as a driver, which makes for an exciting race for the spectators. I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel and racing.”

The Diriyah Season official launch follows the recent introduction of tourist visas for residents of 49 countries. The stellar lineup, in addition to Formula E, includes:

  • Clash On The Dunes – the first-ever World Heavyweight Title fight in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on the 7th of December 2019. The current unified world heavyweight champion holding the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles Andy ‘The Destroyer’ Ruiz Jr, and Anthony ‘AJ’ Joshua, the 2012 Olympics gold medalist, go head – to – head in a revenge clash of epic proportions.
  • The Diriyah Tennis Cup, the first professional tennis tournament ever to be staged in Saudi Arabia from December 12 to 14. Through a knockout tournament, on the Diriyah Arena, with the coveted Diriyah Tennis Cup at stake, watch as three-time grand slam winner Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland battles it out with Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, Belgium’s David Goffin and Italy’s Fabio Fogini. Four more competitors to be announced later.
  • The Diriyah Equestrian Festival 2019 (DEF) which will see the world’s best equestrian athletes compete in two weekends of elite sportsmanship, on 12th, 13th and 14th December and 19th, 20th and 21st Contestants from Saudi Arabia and the world will compete as they collect points to qualify to Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Around all these sporting jewels will be wrapped an iconic season of concerts, cultural festivities, food and retail experiences, and a stunning ‘Diriyah Oasis’, all hosted in Diriyah, the historic city which was transformed by the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) into a world-class venue for sports and entertainment while preserving its cherished past.

The exciting line-up will be revealed soon but music fans should reserve November 22,23, December 6 and December 13 and 14 in their diaries.

Once again, the Bujairi district of Diriyah will be home to elegant fashion and retail, and the finest dining Saudi Arabia has to offer. And the DGDA will be staging tours of the fascinating and beautiful At-Turaif district, a UNESCO World Heritage site that stands as a symbol of Saudi’s rich history.

And, this year Diriyah Season will introduce Diriyah Oasis, a cultural and entertainment district that pays tribute to Diriyah’s historical importance, being the birthplace of the KSA, and reflects the rich heritage, unique architecture and affluent resources of Saudi Arabia and the region.

  • Tickets for both exhilarating days are now on sale at Tickets available start from SAR450 for single day Grandstand tickets, including grandstand seating with a view of all the action, access to the dedicated fan zone, the Allianz E-Village and off-track entertainment, and access to the post-race concert on the day featuring an international superstar. Two-day tickets are price at SAR800, representing a saving of SAR100.
  • Premium hospitality starts from SAR2,500 for a single day package including valet parking, luxury indoor and outdoor lounges overlooking the Formula E track, complimentary tours of the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site of At-Turaif, VIP dining and golden circle to the post-race concert. Two-day packages are priced at SAR4,000.
  • And, the Boss Emotion Club returns with two-day packages only featuring VIP drop-off areas, exquisite fine dining in an incredible track-side location, exclusive pitlane walks, garage tours and driver access, plus the best access into the post-race concerts and a VIP viewing platform, priced at SAR15,000.

His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki AlFaisal Al Saud, Chairman of the GSA, said: “Thanks to the launch recently of tourism visas we’re ready to welcome even more international visitors to the Diriyah Circuit, and create another unforgettable moment for our people. As part of the Diriyah Season, Formula E will begin an incredible celebration of sports in the Kingdom across the month.”

His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Faisal Al Saud, President of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, said: “Last year the Diriyah Circuit proved itself as a world-class venue for thrilling motorsport. This year it will fire up Saudi Arabia’s passion for motorsports again and we are excited to welcome Formula E back.”

Carlo Boutagy, CEO CBX, Promoter of E-Prix in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said: “The 2019 race will build on the success of last year and deliver an action-packed weekend filled with thrilling racing and world-class entertainment for the fans. We are truly delighted and honored to kick start the 2019/2020 ABB FIA Formula E Championship”.

Tickets for all of Diriyah Season’s spectacular events and entertainment will be available online at with Formula E Tickets on sale now, Clash On the Dunes tickets on October 13, and Diriyah Tennis Cup on October 26. Tickets for other events as well as season long tickets will be announced soon. Follow Diriyah Season’s news and announcements on the official social media pages on twitter and Instagram @diriyahseason.

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Al Tayer ready for tough battle as Al Mulla looks to extend Grand Prix winning sequence

 Team Abu Dhabi’s bid for a double title success in the 2019 UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship reaches an important stage in China this weekend when Rashid Al Mulla and Rashed Al Tayer aim for decisive victories.

Reigning world freestyle champion Al Mulla, holding a 12-point lead over Italian Roberto Mariani at the top of the standings, will be looking to extend his remarkable winning sequence to a ninth successive Grand Prix in Qingdao on China’s Yellow Sea coast.

If he can do that, the final round in Sharjah in December could become a formality for the Emirati, although team-mate Al Tayer has a lot more to do if he is to capture the blue riband Runabout GP1 crown.

After starting the series with his first Grand Prix success in Portugal back in May to grab a share of the championship lead, Al Tayer arrives in China two points behind the current front runner, Denmark’s Marcus Jorgensen, ahead of Friday’s pole position race.

“I said before the start of the season that my target is to win the world title, and that hasn’t changed,” he said. “It’s going to be tough, but I know I showed in Portugal that I can take a Grand Prix and I know what I need to do to win again in China.”

The fact that their normal fuel is not available in China causes some concern for Team Abu Dhabi, and Al Mulla admits to feeling “a little nervous” about the effect on his bike’s performance.

Otherwise, he remains supremely confident in the build up to tomorrow’s (Thursday) pole position action, and rates avoiding errors in his routine and a willingness to take more risks as the main advantages he holds over his competitors.
“The biggest difference is that I get a lot of height and do a lot of scary tricks, but I don’t make mistakes,” says Al Mulla, whose practice regime sees him out on the water for at least five hours a day, four times a week.

Completing the Team Abu Dhabi challenge in China is Salman Al Awadhi who returns to action in the Ski Division GP1 after finishing runner-up in the Runabout GP2 championship in Portugal in June.



  1. Marcus Jorgensen (UAE) 71
  2. Rashed Al Tayer (UAE) 69
  3. Andrezej Wisniewski (PL) 69
  4. Jeremy Perez (FR) 65
  5. Anton Pankratov (EE)61
  6. Samuel Johansson (SE) 58
  7. Yousef Al Abdulrazzaq (KW) 54
  8. Christophe Agostinho (PT) 49


  1. Rashid Al Mulla (UAE) 100
  2. Roberto Mariani (IT)88
  3. Sergey Chemezov (RU)71
  4. Niels Willems (BE)71
  5. Jaroslav Tirner (CZ)70
  6. Alexander Kuramshin (RU)63
  7. Paulo Nunes (PT)53
  8. Vladislav Vorobev (RU) 51
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The West Indies Women will host India Women for three (3) Colonial Medical Insurance One Day Internationals (ODIs) and five (5) T20 Internationals (T20I) from November 1- 20, with matches to be played in Antigua, St. Lucia and Guyana.

India Women will arrive in the Caribbean on October 28 ahead of the first Colonial Medical Insurance ODI on November 1 to be played at the Sir Vivian Richards on Antigua’s 38th Independence Day.

All three matches of the ODI series will be played in Antigua on November 1,3 and 6. Points accrued in this series all count towards the ICC Women’s Championship 2017-2021. The five-match T20I series will be played across two countries. The first two matches will be played at the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium in St. Lucia on November 9 and 10. Matches 3,4 and 5 will be played at the Providence Stadium in Guyana on November 14,17 and 20.

The West Indies Women will be looking to bounce back from a recent home defeat to the number one ranked Australia Women. They suffered 3-0 defeats in both the ODI and T20 series. The West Indies Women took on Australia with a young team, with standout performances from debutants Shabika Gajnabi and Sheneta Grimmond, as well as captain Stafanie Taylor.

Cricket West Indies Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams spoke about the upcoming tour saying, “ The team is coming off a tough tour against Australia and this long series against India will no doubt give them a better opportunity to fine tune their skills ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia next year.  ”

Adams continued, “We have a very young squad, the standouts of Gajnabi and Grimmond from the most recent series, mixed with the senior players, I believe is a good signal to us at CWI and the region that Women’s cricket has been developing. Going forward, we just have to continue the support in whatever way we can to ensure West Indies Women’s cricket is back on the top.”

This month-long series comes exactly one year after the explosive performances in front of sold-out crowds at home during the ICC T20 World Cup. Which ironically was played at two of the venues that will be used during this series, the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St. Lucia and the National Stadium in Guyana.

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