A desire to create a unique competition is one of the reasons behind the introduction of the Abu Dhabi T20, which Yorkshire are taking part in this weekend.

The six-team, three-day event is also part celebrations for the Year of Zayed, which is taking place to celebrate the late former president of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed.

A reported £115,000 is on offer for the winners, with £30,000 earmarked for the runners-up.

Matthew Jackson, managing director of Sporta Group, who are helping to organise the event, is fully expecting an exciting weekend of cricket.

“One of the attractions of European football, albeit a different code, is that you may see someone like an Ajax run away with the Dutch League, but when they come up against a team from Spain you really see how good they are,” he said.

“That’s what we’re trying to do with this event.

“How would Yorkshire do against Hobart Hurricanes from the Big Bash League?

“It gives us a gauge on how good the T20 Blast is and how good the Big Bash is.

“That’s not been done for some time.

“There are plenty of T20 leagues around at the moment, but we wanted to create something unique.

“The government who are backing this in Abu Dhabi are looking for this to be at least a three-year event, so there’s something to build on.

“Sporta is just part of a larger team running the event. We are doing a lot of the logistics, moving teams around etc. The guys at the Abu Dhabi Cricket Club are also doing a lot of work.

“This year is named as the year of Zayed in the UAE, and if Sheikh Zayed, the father of the nation, had been alive – he was the president of Abu Dhabi as well – he would have been 100 years old this year.

“It’s a special year for the UAE, and in particular Abu Dhabi. There is a series of events going on, and this is part of that.”

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