Here we take a look each of the six teams set to contest the three-day, inaugural Abu Dhabi T20 at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium this weekend.
AUCKLAND ACES, New Zealand
Four-time winners of the Burger King Super Smash, the Aces finished last season as the effective beaten semi-finalists, losing an elimination final to Central Stags.
Their domestic T20 competition is played December and January.
Coached by Mark O’Donnell, who is in his second spell in charge at Eden Park, the youthful Aces will be captained by ex-Sussex batsman Craig Cachopa.
Yorkshire’s recent overseas opening batsman Jeet Raval is an Auckland player, but he will not be travelling to Abu Dhabi due to commercial commitments as a New Zealand centrally contracted player.
BOOST DEFENDERS, Afghanistan
Boost play their cricket in the Shpageeza Cricket League and were beaten in an eliminator in the last edition of competition a little over a year ago.
They have some recognisable names slated to feature next weekend.
Coached by retiring Essex wicketkeeper James Foster, the likes of Worcester wicketkeeper Ben Cox is set to feature alongside Colin Ingram, Kyle Abbott, Paul Stirling and Lewis Gregory.
If they mirror the exciting cricket being played by the Afghanistan national team at present, they will be fun to watch.
HOBART HURRICANES, Australia
The runners-up in the Big Bash in February, the Hurricanes will travel to the Gulf with a youthful squad, owing much to Tasmania’s current involvement in the JLT one-day Cup.
They have signed Ben Duckett, Jordan Clark and Jerome Taylor especially for this competition and will field former South Africa international Johan Botha, a recent arrival with the ‘Purple Army’ ahead of the forthcoming BBL.
Former New South Wales batsman Ben Rohrer, Hobart’s new assistant coach, will oversee this event. They play Yorkshire in the final group game on Saturday.
LAHORE QALANDARS, Pakistan
Lahore have struggled to make an impression on the first three editions of the Pakistan Super League, played in the UAE in February and March, finishing fifth, fifth and sixth out of six teams.
They will be without their array international stars next weekend and have recruited powerful Sussex batsman Phil Salt as an overseas player.
Former Pakistan World Cup winning fast bowler, and ex-UAE national coach, Aqib Javed is their director of cricket operations.
Yorkshire’s opening group opponents under lights on Thursday.
MULTIPLY TITANS, South Africa
Champions of the Ram Slam for the last three years, the Titans will travel with arguably with the strongest squad of the competition, highlighted by internationals such as Albie Morkel, Thuenis de Bruyn, Farhaan Berhadien and Chris Morris.
The Titans will be coached by ex-Proteas wicketkeeper Mark Boucher and are interrupting their four-day campaign to play in the UAE.
They were involved in the 2012 Champions League T20 competition in South Africa which Yorkshire played in, although the two did not meet.
YORKSHIRE VIKINGS, England
Andrew Gale has named the strongest squad possible, minus the England Internationals on duty in Sri Lanka.
The Vikings are still awaiting their maiden Vitality Blast title, although were runners up in 2012 and reached Finals Day again in 2016.
Yorkshire missed out on this season’s quarter-finals, but are determined to finish the season on a high with some silverware.
They boast international experience in Gary Ballance, Tim Bresnan, a former Hobart Hurricane, and Adam Lyth, who holds the fourth highest individual score in T20 history – 161 v Northants at Emerald Headingley last August.