International League T20 (ILT20)
History of International League T20 (ILT20)
The International League T20 is a franchise tournament started by Emirates Cricket Board. The tournament has gotten significant backing from IPL team owners. You get a sense of familiarity because the proprietors of three of the league’s six franchises, Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals, and Kolkata Knight Riders, also own the Indian Premier League. Six teams will compete in the Emirates Cricket Board-approved inaugural ILT20 at three locations in the United Arab Emirates: Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi.
The six teams played a double round-robin from January 13 to February 6.
After the league stage matches, the top four teams advanced to the playoffs, which took place from February 8 to February 12. The top two teams then played each other for a direct ticket to the championship game. The league includes six teams, which are discussed below.
- Abu Dhabi Knight Riders (owned by Knight ARiders Group, who also owned KKR in IPL)
- Desert Vipers (Owned by Lancer Capital LLC, also had a majority stake in Manchester United F.C.)
- Dubai Capitals (Owned by GMR Group, who also owned IPL Team Delhi Capitals)
- Gulf Giants (Owned by Adani Sportsline Pvt. Ltd, who also owned teams in different sports in India)
- MI Emirates (Owned by Indiawin Sports Pvt. Ltd, also owned by the Mumbai Indians team in IPL)
- Sharjah Warriors (Owned by Capri Global Holdings Pvt. Ltd)
The Gulf Giants won the dazzling trophy in the D.P. World ILT20 cricket league’s premiere on February 12 at Dubai International Stadium, creating a global stir. The James Vince-led Giants made history by winning the IL T20 league championship in front of a packed stadium during the tournament final. With 118 players from across the globe playing, the first tournament attracted spectators with top-notch performances by the largest group of foreign players in any non-international cricket competition.
Fans could watch match highlights and clips from a top-notch competition broadcast on the digital platforms of the D.P. World ILT20 in addition to Zee’s platforms. The D.P. The World ILT20 2023 edition left a lasting impression on the world stage, garnering 367 million unique viewers across T.V. and digital media. World-class players will be on the roster for season two, and the homegrown talent from the United Arab Emirates will again display their depth and skill as cricketers.
- Winner 2023: Gulf Giants
ILT20 Status and Rules
The ICC’s rules state that events hosted by non-Full Members, in this case, the UAE, cannot receive T20 status. The Global T20 Canada T20 league was previously denied T20 status for the same reason. Similar reasoning applies to Fairbreak International, a women’s T20 tournament in Dubai in 2022.
ILT20 announced a different international player’s quota as compared to other leagues. Compared to the four or five overseas player maximum allowed by other major T20 leagues, nine out of eleven players on each team can be from abroad. Each team must have two UAE players and one from an Associate Member country.
ILT20 Challenges and Controversies
Introducing a T20 league in an associated nation is a big challenge. Emirates Cricket Board has faced different challenges to make this league a big success in International Cricket.
1. Deal Issues
After its inaugural season in early 2023, the International League T20 (ILT20) is in difficult times. All six franchises and the broadcaster Zee Entertainment Enterprise have written to the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) to voice their concerns and ask for a renegotiation of the current agreement and a revision of the league’s business model.
2. Financial Issues
Three IPL team owners, the Glazers Family, and the Adani Group, jointly own ILT20. While the league successfully lures top cricketers with lucrative contracts, it has had financial difficulties. Franchises have lost money due to the 10-year lock-in period, which is the main problem. Due to the current revenue model’s requirement that franchises wait ten years before receiving a share of the central pool, franchises have suffered losses. The franchises are asking to revise the agreement to address this problem and prevent further losses. Instead of waiting until after ten years, they hope to begin sharing the profits from ILT20 in 2024.
3. Participation of Pakistani Players
Pakistani players did not participate in the first edition of ILT20. Different theories emerged from this issue. There were rumors about Indian affiliation with IL T20 as the reason for the lack of Pakistani players in the league. However, ILT20 had a time slot related to PSL 2023, a big reason behind the idea. PCB did not want their players to go into the league, which would complete their own local league. However, ILT20 announced the big signing of Shaheen Afridi in the 2nd edition of the league.
4. Local Players Participation Issue
A few Full Members have called for regulations requiring a higher minimum number of local players in the ILT20 and other T20 leagues in response to the ILT20’s plan to need only one local (UAE) player in the playing XI of each team. Due to the lack of players in the UAE, the management decided to add only one player. It can change in the upcoming editions.
Money Prize and Other Awards
For the ILT20 season 2023, there will be a total of $1.3 million in cash prizes, with the winning team receiving $700,000 and the runner-up team receiving $300,000. The ILT20 has been giving out five-match awards, with each winner receiving $15,000. Here are the names of the ILT20 awards:
- Player of the match
- D.P. World smart delivery of the day
- Skyexch.Net Super 4s of the match
- Sports Buzz 11 Buzzmaker of the Match
- Fairplay News’ biggest hit of the match
Impact on UAE Cricket
ILT20 created a great buzz in the local cricket market. There is a new zeal and zest among the UAE players to feature in the league and improve their techniques and way of playing by competing with the top players from the world. An ILT20 development tournament was announced to showcase all the local players who can thrive on the bigger scenes. The development tournament will improve the skills of local players and bring them great exposure to competitive cricket.
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