Big Names Sign For the Inaugural ILT20

Inaugural ILT20
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David Warner has not been signed, but Andre Russell, Moeen Ali, Wanindu Hasaranga, Alex Hales, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Jordan, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman are among the other high-profile players who have been brought in for the inaugural ILT20, which will be played in the UAE in January or February of the following year.

In order to acquire these players, which they have been in talks with, the six franchises in the league—owned by Reliance Industries, Kolkata Knight Riders, Capri Global, GMR, Lancer Capital, and Adani Sportsline—will use their “direct acquisition” rights.

At this time, Chris Lynn is the sole Australian player in the league’s plans; no cricketers from Bangladesh, India, or Pakistan are included. It is understood that Pakistani cricketers are not involved because the PCB is not likely to grant them NOCs to participate in the league due to their domestic and international commitments. This is in contrast to Australia, Bangladesh, and India, where things may change despite the BCCI’s stance against their players playing in foreign leagues due to the number of teams owned by IPL owners.

“Over the past weeks, ILT20’s six franchises have started discussions and engaged with players, and players’ agents, to exercise their ‘Direct Acquisition’ rights,” Khalid Al Zarooni, chairman of the ILT20, said in a statement.

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 are the other players listed in this “first set.”

The announcement listed 33 additional international cricketers who have signed on, including Lahiru Kumara, Seekugge Prassanna, Charith Asalanka, Isuru Udana, and Niroshan Dickwella (all from Sri Lanka); Kennar Lewis, Ravi Rampaul, Raymon Reifer, Dominic Drakes, and Sherfane Rutherford (all from the West Indies); Hazratullah Zazai, Qais Ahmad, Noor Ahmed (USA).

Two players from Associate nations and four players from the UAE will be included in each team of 18, but the selection process won’t begin until the league announces more foreign signings later this week, according to the announcement.

Late confirmation of Warner’s absence from the league and likelihood that he will return to the BBL for the first time since 2013 was provided by the list. Warner, CA, and the Australian Cricketers’ Association were into negotiations to find a method to get him to participate in the BBL when it was reported that he might choose for the ILT20 over the BBL.

Uncertainty surrounds Moeen’s level of league involvement. Moeen is also rumoured to have joined the new CSA league as one of its top stars. The Super League and both leagues run concurrently in January and February, and participation is further hampered by England’s ODI series in South Africa during that time period.

There have been rumours that Pakistani players may not have much room in the league since IPL franchise owners were hesitant to sign them due to fears of backlash in India. The franchise owned by Lancer Capital, the Glazer family (who also control Manchester United), is still hopeful of acquiring some Pakistani players, according to an ILT20 executive, who noted that the lack of NOCs from the PCB may be a barrier. Two Pakistani players requested NOCs to compete in the league, according to a statement released by the PCB last week, but their requests were denied since the PCB anticipated their participation in Pakistan’s domestic season.

The ILT20 will take place in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah in 2023, with 34 matches—each team will play the other twice—before four playoff rounds, including the championship match.

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