ILT20 announces development tournament for local players ahead of second season
Dubai: The International League (ILT20), the franchise T20 league in the United Arab Emirates, has announced a development tournament scheduled from September 30 to October 10 in Dubai.
The tournament will act as a platform for UAE’s domestic and international players to showcase their talent in a bid to be picked by the ILT20 franchises for the second season of the league.
So far, the six franchises have retained 11 UAE players as part of their squads for Season 2. This means 13 spots are still up for grabs (franchises need to have at least four UAE players in their squads).
All 11 players retained by the franchises including Ali Naseer (Desert Vipers), Aayan Afzal Khan (Gulf Giants), Junaid Siddique (Sharjah Warriors), Matiullah (Abu Dhabi Knight Riders), Mohammad Waseem (MI Emirates), Muhammad Jawadullah (Sharjah Warriors), Raja Akif (Dubai Capitals), Rohan Mustafa (Desert Vipers), Sabir Ali (Abu Dhabi Knight Riders), Sanchit Sharma (Gulf Giants) and Zahoor Khan (MI Emirates) are expected to participate in the ILT20 2023 Development Tournament.
In July 2023, the International Cricket Council (ICC) approved the ‘cap of four overseas players’ for all new T20 leagues, eyeing the fear of players not feeling left out due to the enhancement of the T20 franchise leagues.
However, this rule doesn’t apply to ILT20, yet the tournament will have to cope with the rules within a reasonable period.
According to the ILT20 rulebook, each playing XI can have a maximum of nine overseas players, with at least two UAE players — and two Associate overseas players needed in the squad.
Six teams will take part in the tournament playing five matches each. The top four teams will qualify for the semis. All the group stage matches will be played at the ICC Academy Grounds with the final on October 10.
Each team will have a 14-member squad made through a player draft that is scheduled for the next week. More than 300 domestic players have signed up for the tournament.
Emirates Cricket Board general secretary Mubashshir Usmani said, “We are very happy to see UAE players being provided an opportunity to show their skills through the ILT20 Development Tournament. “This initiative is truly a life-changing opportunity for these players.
“I am confident that the tournament will be hugely beneficial for the growth of the game and will become a launch pad for participation in the DP World ILT20 as well as aiding in the identification and selection of players for UAE’s men’s teams in the years ahead,” he concluded.