Paul Farbrace will return as Team Abu Dhabi head coach for this year’s Abu Dhabi T10, which takes place from November 22 to December 4 at Abu Dhabi Cricket & Sports Hub.
Farbrace spent five years in the England men’s setup before joining Warwickshire as their head of sport and led Team Abu Dhabi to a third-place finish in the 2021 edition.
He will now be back in the home franchise dugout at the Zayed Cricket Stadium for season six of the Abu Dhabi T10, as will former England international Sarah Taylor.
Taylor moved the needle for female coaches in the men’s professional game when she joined the Team Abu Dhabi coaching staff last year and she will serve as Farbrace’s assistant.
Ottis Gibson, who has previously worked with the likes of West Indies, England, Bangladesh and South Africa, will head up the bowling department, while former Zimbabwe international Grant Flower has signed on as batting coach.
“I thought it was a brilliant tournament,” said Farbrace of his Abu Dhabi T10 debut last term. “I was looking forward to it and it proved to be a fantastic tournament. You get some of the best players in the world, some of the best coaches, and it makes for a great combination.
“Sarah did a brilliant job last year and I thought her passion and her energy around the team was outstanding. I’m looking forward to seeing her expand on what she did last year, and I think she’ll bring even more innovation and have an even greater impact on the team this year.
“We’ve also got in Ottis and Grant, who have worked at the very top of the game, have huge amounts of experience and they also have an infectious passion for the sport. I think between all of us as a coaching group, we’ve managed to put together a world-class setup that every player can tap into.”
Team Abu Dhabi general manager Shane Anderson added: “I’m thrilled to have Paul back with us again for the upcoming tournament. We share a similar philosophy on the way the T10 format should be approached, and the type of player and personality required to go all the way. It’s an exciting start to the new campaign and I’m confident we have the right people on board to ensure we’re in the mix at the business end of the tournament.”
Farbrace’s side won seven out of 10 matches in the league stage of the 2021 Abu Dhabi T10, but defeats in both the second qualifier, and eliminator, saw them miss out on a place in the final.
Team Abu Dhabi eventually secured third-place and, in a bid to go all the way this time around, have already strengthened their squad by signing the hard-hitting duo of Australia’s Chris Lynn and West Indian Fabian Allen.
England internationals Phil Salt and Jamie Overton have been retained, as has Afghanistan ace Naveen-ul-Haq.
Team Abu Dhabi’s think tank will complete the squad at the Official Player Draft on Monday 26 September and Farbrace already has his sights on leading the tournament’s host franchise to their first title.
“I’m desperate to win it,” said Farbrace. “I want to win, I love winning, I hate losing. And I think we’ve got a group of people that share that sentiment.”
He added: “Chris Lynn is a superstar in terms of the shorter form of the game. I’m really excited by him, and he’s a destroyer of bowlers. He will be a real leader for us. He’s someone that knows his game, is highly experienced and clear in how he wants to play the game. All I’ll be saying to him is: ‘Mate, go and entertain us. Show us how you play this game!’
“I’m also really pleased that we’ve managed to retain Phil Salt, Jamie Overton and Naveen-ul-Haq, because they’re all high quality, fantastic cricketers. They’ve got a winning mentality and expectation to win is something we’ll be talking about from day one, with all our players. If you’re going to win tournaments like this, you need that high level of expectation, so I’m really excited by it.”
Full Team Abu Dhabi coaching staff:
Paul Farbrace (head coach), Sarah Taylor (assistant coach), Ottis Gibson (bowling coach), Grant Flower (batting coach), Oscar Nauhaus (skills coach), Hassan Cheema (analyst), Ajantha Wattagama (physio).