Cricket Legends James Anderson, Brian Lara And Jacques Kallis Join Celebrity Team At 2017 Abu Dhabi Invitational
James Anderson, English Cricket’s all-time highest international wicket-taker, has joined Peter Schmeichel’s team of Celebrity all-stars for the 2017 Abu Dhabi Invitational.
34-year old Anderson — who returned to England’s Test team for the recent tour of India — will be joined in Abu Dhabi by two other legends of the sport: Brian Lara and Jacques Kallis.
Anderson, who made his Test debut in 2003, has already cemented his reputation as one of the finest players in the history of English cricket. A former world number one bowler who currently ranks sixth on the all-time international wicket-takers list, ‘Jimmy’ has represented England in 100 Test matches and nearly 200 One Day Internationals, and is one of the sport’s most popular figures.
Playing alongside Anderson will be Brian Lara, widely regarded as one of the greatest batsman of all time. Boasting a Test match career average of 52.88, Lara is the only batsman to have ever scored a century, a double century, a triple century, a quadruple century and a quintuple century in first class games over the course of a senior career.
James Anderson of England celebrates taking the wicket of David Warner of Australia during day two of the Fourth Ashes Test Match between Australia and England at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 27, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
South African icon Jacques Kallis completes the cricketing line-up. The current coach of Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, the former all-rounder remains the only cricketer in the history of the game to score more than 10,000 runs and take 250 wickets in both one-day and Test match cricket.
The trio will play alongside a series of football legends — including Ruud Gullit, Dwight Yorke and Gabriel Batistuta — for Peter Schmeichel’s Celebrity team, against Paul McGinley’s team of professional golfers. More big-name competitors from the worlds of golf, sport, entertainment and business are to be announced in the coming days.
This year’s event will comprise an Amateur Championship on Saturday 28 January with invited sponsor and stakeholder guests, before the main Invitational on Sunday 29 January. Both days are open to the public.
The format for the Sunday Invitational will see 20 professionals and 20 celebrities paired with a VIP guest as the teams compete against each other in a Ryder Cup Fourball format.
South African batsman Jacques Kallis reacts after scoring a century during day three of the first cricket test match between Australia and South Africa at the Gabba in Brisbane, Australia, 11 November 2012.
Anderson said: “It is an honour to be part of the Celebrity team at this year’s Abu Dhabi Invitational with some incredible names from the world of sport. It promises to be an amazing weekend and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
His Excellency Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), said: “We are thrilled to have three of the best cricket players of all time joining us at Yas Links for the Abu Dhabi Invitational this year.”
“It is wonderful to have Brian Lara returning to play at Yas Links and we also look forward to welcoming Jacques and James to the event also.”
“We will be announcing more big-name competitors from the worlds of golf, sport, entertainment and business in the coming days. This year’s tournament promises to be a wonderful occasion at Yas Links, the best links course in the region and one of the best golf venues in the world.”
The 2017 Abu Dhabi Invitational will also welcome a host of leading media from the world of television, print, digital, social and radio platforms. Interested media are urged to make contact with the event organisers as soon as possible.
Howie Roberts, General Manager of Yas Links, is also eagerly anticipating the array of sporting superstars who’ll play in the event this year. “We are honoured to have James Anderson, Brian Lara and Jacques Kallis here as we host the Abu Dhabi Invitational for a fifth time,” he said. “It is a chance to showcase this fantastic golf course, alongside Yas Island’s global entertainment and hospitality facilities, to an international and influential audience.”
The Abu Dhabi Invitational has established itself as a world-class competition where Tour golfers, the GCC’s leading amateurs, sporting celebrities, leading business executives and entrepreneurs come together to play tournament golf and raise funds for charity. This year the teams will be playing to raise money for the captains’ chosen charities.
The Abu Dhabi Invitational is free to attend for spectators. Doors open at 7am on 28th January.