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ILT20 to launch in UAE on January 13

ILT20 to launch in UAE on January 13

By Shaneer N Siddiqui

Dubai, 2 January (IANS): In February 2021, the UAE Cricket Board approved an exciting new T20 league – the International League T20 (ILT20) – to be played in the UAE. But it took a year to implement because of Covid restrictions. Now everything is ready to start in Dubai on January 13th.

The schedule for the inaugural league has been announced, with Dubai Capitals taking on the Abu Dhabi Knights in their opening game on 13 January. The final of the new league will be held on February 12th. All six teams – Dubai Capitals, Abu Dhabi Knights, Gulf Giants, MI Emirates, Sharjah Warriors and Desert Vipers – will meet twice in the league stage, followed by four play-off games .

Khalid Al Zarooni, Vice-Chairman of the Emirates Cricket Council and Member of the Board of Directors of the Asian Cricket Council; “Our Board of Directors (ECB) is very pleased to be moving forward with this new T20 league, which we believe will drive the growth and popularity of cricket in the UAE. We It is also envisaged that our Emirati athletes can showcase their talents on the international stage and make a name for themselves through such opportunities.”

According to media reports, the total salary cap for each team in the league is $2.5 million. This makes it the second largest T20 tournament in the world after the Indian Premier League (IPL).

According to sources, the league has signed contracts worth $450,000 for top players, making it the second most lucrative league for T20 players after the IPL.

Players are paid almost double what they would be paid elsewhere in the league. The money they earn is not taxed.

That’s in stark contrast to Australia’s Big Bash League, where the top-paid player can’t make more than $238,000 a season. As of now, only the IPL can match the ILT20 in terms of the amount paid to the top players.

The league will hold a concert on January 13, when Bollywood and international celebrities are expected to perform. The teaser song, sung by superstar rapper Badshah, is a T20 league song.

The tournament will feature 84 international players and 24 UAE players. The franchise includes Abu Dhabi Knights (Kolkata Knight Riders), Desert Vipers (Lancer Capital), Dubai Capitals (GMR), Gulf Giants (Adani Sportsline), MI Emirates (Reliance Industries) and Sharjah Warriors ( Capri Global).

According to an official statement, “The league has discussed with all boards of directors to ensure the safety of the players and continues to work with them.”

Matches will be played at world-class cricket facilities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

Incidentally, five of the six teams in ILT20 are owned by Indians.

Speaking to IANS, Rajesh Sharma, founder and director of Capri Global Holdings, which owns the Sharjah Warriors, said: “When people think of the UAE, the word ‘majestic’ comes to mind. The country is awe-inspiring in every way. It is the land of opportunity and ILT20 is similar in this sense. Players and support staff from different countries will come together to face off in a month of high-intensity competition. It caters to three main markets, Middle East and North Africa, South Asia and Europe, thereby connecting fans from all over the world, making it a great opportunity for global sponsors and local entities.”

Asked what he hopes to get in return from this league, Sharma said: “In terms of successful team ownership models, people don’t need to look too far. The IPL was also considered a risky venture in the beginning. Proposal. Risk and reward are clearly part of business and sport. Having said that, given all the elements that countries, leagues and venues have to offer, we believe these investments will pay off handsomely in the future.”

Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Chairman of the UAE Cricket Council, unveiled the ILT20 trophy at a stakeholder event last October.

Designed and manufactured by world-renowned trophy maker Thomas Lyte from the United Kingdom, the silver trophies bring together influences that reflect the UAE’s rich heritage and culture. Headlining the trophy is the national bird – the falcon – pointing to the seven emirates, the incredible sand dunes and the UAE’s most famous landmark, the Burj Khalifa. The trophy is 830 mm long, representing the height of the Burj Khalifa, which is 830 meters.

ILT20 CEO Subhan Ahmed said: “The UAE has the international cricket infrastructure. We have been organizing other countries’ leagues in the UAE, whether it is IPL, PCL or T20 World Cup. So why shouldn’t we have our own league? ILT20 will be very Good for local cricket talent in the UAE.”

Ahmed said there are 52 cricket grounds in the UAE hosting local matches.

“Keeping local football in mind, we’re putting four local players on each ILT20 team, which will encourage and motivate other local talent to do better. The ILT20 is clashing with some of the other leagues in the ICC calendar and some players are It’s not free because of their respective board calendars, but it’s just a start. From next season onwards, things will get easier,” he said.

Big names joining the league include Andre Russell, Trent Bolt, Shimron Hetmeier, Sunil Nalin, Kieron Pollard, Alex Black Ernes, Mohn Ali, Chris Jordan, Davide Maran, Mohammad Nabi, Nicholas Pooran, Dasun Shanaka, Banuka Rajapaksa and Waninduhasaran Add and so on. Former cricketers like Robin Uthappa, Wasim Akram, Nikhil Chopra, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag, Mohammad Azharuddin and Anjum Chopra will be featured in the commentary.

Former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh said: “It is a big step for UAE cricket to have its own league. The country has hosted three IPLs and knows how to organize big events. Big congratulations to UAE cricket and ILT20.”

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