Get ready for thrilling cricket action! ILT20 returns to UAE with top players, intense matches, and diverse teams, promising an unforgettable season of excitement and competition.
The second season of the ILT20 cricket tournament in the UAE is all set to begin on January 19. The schedule was announced on Wednesday, August 23. Just like last year, this season’s schedule overlaps with another cricket event called SA20. But the organizers have worked to reduce the clash between the two events. SA20 is scheduled from January 10 to February 10.
This league in the UAE is made up of six teams. It’s the biggest cricket league in the UAE, and a lot of people watched it last season – over 367 million people! The league will finish on February 18. The full schedule for all the matches will be announced later.
For the second year in a row, six teams will compete: Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, Desert Vipers, Dubai Capitals, Gulf Giants, MI Emirates, and Sharjah Warriors. The tournament will have 34 matches in total, with 30 group games and four playoff matches, leading to the final match.
Earlier this week, the league introduced a list of famous players who will be part of the tournament. Some of these players are David Willey, Josh Little, Alex Hales, David Warner, Mark Wood, Akeal Hosein, and Corey Anderson. They will play for different teams.
Ambati Rayudu, signed by MI Emirates, will be the only Indian player in the league. Two players who were there in the first season, Yusuf Pathan and Robin Uthappa, will not be playing for Dubai Capitals this time.
Another Indian player, Saurabh Netravalkar, who used to play for the Indian U-19 team and now represents the US, will also be in the league. He studied engineering at Mumbai University and played cricket for Mumbai. Now he’ll be playing for Gulf Giants.
Some players from Pakistan are also part of the league, like Shadab Khan and Shaheen Shah Afridi. They’ll be playing for Desert Vipers. Each team can have up to 25 players, and there’s a budget of $2.5 million for players.
The team called Gulf Giants won last year’s championship. They are owned by the Adani Group. Led by James Vince, they won the final match against Desert Vipers in the first season.
Let’s take a look at some new players joining the teams:
Abu Dhabi Knight Riders:
New Players: Brandon McMullen, David Willey, Jake Lintott, Josh Little, Laurie Evans, Michael Pepper, Ravi Bopara, and Sam Hain.
New Players: Adam Hose, Azam Khan, Bas de Leede, Michael Jones, Shadab Khan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi.
New Players: Andrew Tye, Dasun Shanaka, David Warner, Mark Wood, Max Holden, Mohammad Mohsin, Nuwan Thusara, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Roelof van der Merwe, Sadeera Samarawickrama, and Sam Billings.
New Players: Dominic Drakes, Jamie Smith, Jordan Cox, Karim Janat, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Saurabh Netravalkar.
New Players: Akeal Hosein, Ambati Rayudu, Corey Anderson, Kusal Perera, Nosthush Kenjige, Odean Smith, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth, and Waqar Salamkheil.
New Players: Chris Sole, Daniel Sams, Dilshan Madhushanka, James Fuller, Johnson Charles, Kusal Mendis, Lewis Gregory, Maheesh Theekshana, Mark Watt, Martin Guptill, Sean Williams, and Qais Ahmed.
The returning players for these teams have also been listed. It’s going to be an exciting season with lots of great cricket action!