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The franchise-style tournament - International League T20 - boasting of 6 teams & 34 matches to be played across the UAE - will make its debut in January 2023.
The ILT20 will be broadcast exclusively on ZEE network’s linear & digital platforms UAE, Dubai, Monday September 26th, 2022: The recently-concluded Asia Cup, which was played between India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh witnessed a number of star performers, who will dazzle the crowd in the inaugural season of the International League T20.
Cricket fans across the world can look forward to the LIVE telecast of this exciting cricket league on ZEE’s linear channels as well as its digital platform, Zee5.
Sri Lanka's superstar Wanindu Hasaranga, who will wear the Desert Vipers jersey in the ILT20, finished as the second highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 9 scalps and helped Sri Lanka lift the Asia Cup. Meanwhile, Hasaranga’s compatriots Dasun Shanaka and Dushmantha Chameera will appear in the Dubai Capitals. They will be joined at the franchise by Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who scored 191 runs in 6 Asia Cup matches. Charith Asalanka will feature in the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders side.
"It's always good to play an international T20 league and I am very glad to be a part of the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders and looking forward to giving my best for the team," said Asalanka.
While Hasaranga said, "I am very excited to be a part of Desert Vipers for the upcoming ILT20." Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s captain Mohammad Nabi will star in the Sharjah Warriors side at the ILT20. His teammates Noor Ahmad and Rahmanullah Gurbaz will give him company at the Warriors. Hazratullah Zazai (Dubai Capitals), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Dubai Capitals), Fazalhaq Farooqi (Mumbai Indian Emirates), Najibullah Zadran (Mumbai Indian Emirates) are the other Afghanistan players featuring in one of the most exciting T20 tournaments in the world.
Zazai expressed his happiness on being a part of the league, saying "I am really happy to be a part of the ILT20. Looking forward to the tournament and hope for fan support. While Mohammad Nabi said, "I am really excited to be a part of Sharjah Warriors in ILT20. We know that Sharjah loves cricket."
Speaking about the range of players in the ILT20, Mubashshir Usmani, General Secretary, Emirates Cricket Board said, "It was fantastic to watch some of the ILT20 players at the Asia Cup. Most of them looked in tremendous form and League management are certain that all the players will light up the stage in the ILT20 next year as well."
He added, “We were also very encouraged by the crowds, and the wonderful atmosphere in the stadiums, which gave us all a taste of what to expect when ILT20 launches in January. We are eagerly looking forward for the tournament to begin.”
Indian cricket legend Harbhajan Singh also shared his views on the ILT20, "It’s a big step for UAE cricket to have their own league. The country has hosted three IPLs and it knows how to organize leagues. Big congratulations to UAE cricket and the ILT20 is going to be a great one as all the top players are going to be participating."
Making its debut in January (2023), the inaugural ILT20, which has received multi-year ICC approval, will be played in a 34-match format across the UAE’s exemplary, world-class Cricket facilities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, and will be broadcast live on ZEE’s linear television as well as on digital streaming platform ZEE5.
Franchise teams, comprising 84 International and 24 UAE-based players, include Abu Dhabi Knight Riders (Kolkata Knight Riders), Desert Vipers (Lancer Capital), Dubai Capitals (GMR), Gulf Giants (Adani Sportsline), MI Emirates (Reliance Industries), and Sharjah Warriors (Capri Global).