Dubai (UAE) : The International League T20 (ILT20) promises to be a high-octane competition with some of the biggest cricketing superstars such as Andre Russell, Shimron Hetmyer, Moeen Ali and Wanindu Hasaranga set to make their way to the United Arab Emirates to kick-off the League in January 2023.
However, this competition is not only about the established players, but also about budding and established cricketers in the UAE.With an exceptionally deep talent-pool of Under-19 and Men’s players from across the Emirates on offer, the League’s six ILT20 franchises – Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, Desert Vipers, Dubai Capitals, Gulf Giants, MI Emirates and Sharjah Warriors – will be aiming to utilize the tournament to grow the home talent in the UAE and provide them with an opportunity to shine alongside the biggest of stars.
Having a vested interest in his UAE-charges, as well as for the legacy of the League, Robin Singh, Director of Cricket and Head Coach, Emirates Cricket, said, “We have some outstanding talent within our reach, as well as talent has not yet been uncovered, so we believe we are walking the talk by providing our UAE-based-players, who may otherwise not get the chance to play in other leagues or fit into a reserve category, with an incomparable experience to train and play with some of the best cricket-names and entities in today’s game.
This is their time and we are extremely proud and grateful to the franchise-owners, and their management teams for their foresight and support of this inclusion.”In the search for UAE talent, Franchise team, the Desert Vipers, conducted trials for UAE players in October in the Gulf nation.
Viper’s Director of Cricket and former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody had a chat with the players before the players showcased their skills to find a place in the Vipers team.Speaking about the trials, Tom Moody said, “The thought behind the trial, is giving us an opportunity to have a look at players who are outside the immediate spotlight, in the T20 World Cup, as you have many players outside who would warrant a place in that squad.
We are also looking at the emerging players, the U-19 players. We have to pick four UAE players in the Vipers squad and two will be in our playing eleven, so it is important we get that selection right.”Speaking about the ILT20, and UAE’s emergence as a prominent cricketing destination, former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan said, “Congratulations to UAE for their own league and I hope that this league prospers and a lot of (UAE) youngsters get opportunities.
The weather is good and the ground facilities are great. UAE is certainly one of the most popular destinations for cricket.”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.
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