International League T20: Andre Russell, Moeen Ali among marquee players
The inaugural International League T20 (ILT20) will see the presence of international stars Andre Russell, Moeen Ali, Wanindu Hasaranga, Alex Hales, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Jordan, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. The league is set to be played in the UAE in January-February next year. Notably, none of the cricketers from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan would feature in the league. Here are further details.
The other names in the "first set" include Dawid Malan, Sunil Narine, Evin Lewis, Colin Munro, Fabian Allen, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Dushmantha Chameera, Akeal Hosein, Tom Banton, Sandeep Lamichhane, Rovman Powell, and Bhanuka Rajapaksa.
As many as 33 more international cricketers have been signed, including Lahiru Kumara, Seekugge Prassanna, Charith Asalanka, Isuru Udana and Niroshan Dickwella (from Sri Lanka); Kennar Lewis, Ravi Rampaul, Raymon Reifer, Dominic Drakes and Sherfane Rutherford (from West Indies); Hazratullah Zazai, Qais Ahmad, Noor Ahmed, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Naveen-ul-Haq (from Afghanistan); Dan Lawrence, Jamie Overton, Liam Dawson, Richard Gleeson, and James Vince, among others.
Six firms to have bought a franchise are the Knight Riders Group, Adani Group (Indian infrastructure company), Capri Global (an India-based financial company), Lancer Capital (the owners of Manchester United Football Club), Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited (owners of Mumbai Indians), and GMR Group (co-owners of Delhi Capitals). These groups would have a "direct acquisition" rights to sign the marquee players.
The inaugural edition of the UAE T20 League comprises six teams and 34 matches. Each squad will have a total of 18 players, including two from Associate countries and four players from the UAE. However, the process to pick the players will commence after the announcement of more international signings (players). The same will be announced later this week.
According to the format of the league, the six teams will play each other twice. Like the Indian Premier League, the UAE league would have four playoffs, including the final. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah would host the 35 matches.