The first-ever edition of the UAE’s International League T20, the ILT20, is set to commence on January 6, 2023, and will run till February 12. A total of 34 matches have been scheduled across UAE’s marquee stadiums in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

The six-team tournament is expected to be the second most lucrative domestic T20 competition after the Indian T20 League in terms of capital, as each team will have a salary cap of $2.5 million. 

Of the aforementioned figure, the top contracted players can earn as much as $450,000 from the tournament with the help of a few different clauses like the ‘total direct payout’.

The "total direct payout" is the sum of the wage slot plus a loyalty bonus. This in essence means that a player picked for the highest wage slot of USD 340,000 can earn a further USD $110,000 as a loyalty bonus should the franchise want to trigger that clause. 

There are as many as nine wage slots for the players and the teams also have the option of paying a USD cap of 500,000 as a signing-on or loyalty bonus. The player salary slots are as follows:

  1. $340,000
  2. $260,000
  3. $220,000
  4. $140,000
  5. $100,000
  6. $60,000
  7. $40,000
  8. $20,000
  9. $10,000

Commenting on the structure of the franchises, Emirates Cricket’s General Secretary, Mubashshir Usmani said: “Each team will consist of 18 players including four UAE players and two other players from ICC Associate countries.”

Furthermore, a playing XI can have a maximum of nine overseas players followed by at least one UAE local and one Associate player.

For now, the names of only four out of the six teams have been confirmed. Indian T20 League’s Team Kolkata owner Shahrukh Khan and Team Mumbai owner Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited will have franchises in the ILT20. 

All the matches in the tournament will take place in a round-robin format before the playoffs decide the eventual champions.  

UAE’s International League T20 teams and owners

Team Owner
Abu Dhabi Knight Riders (ADKR) Knight Riders Group
Gulf Giants Adani Sportsline
MI Emirates Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited
Dubai Capitals GMR Group
TBD Capri Global Capital Limited
TBD Lancer Capital LLC

UAE’s International League T20 squads

Abu Dhabi Knight Riders:

Sunil Narine (West Indies), Andre Russell (West Indies), Jonny Bairstow (England), Paul Stirling (Ireland), Lahiru Kumara (Sri Lanka), Charith Asalanka (Sri Lanka), Colin Ingram (South Africa), Akeal Hosein (West Indies), Seekkuge Prasanna (Sri Lanka), Ravi Rampaul (West Indies), Raymon Reifer (West Indies), Kennar Lewis (West Indies), Ali Khan (United States of America), Brandon Glover (Netherlands)

MI Emirates:

Kieron Pollard (West Indies), Dwayne Bravo (West Indies), Nicholas Pooran (West Indies), Trent Boult (New Zealand), Andre Fletcher (West Indies), Imran Tahir (South Africa), Samit Patel (England), Will Smeed (England), Jordan Thompson (England), Najibullah Zadran (Afghanistan), Zahir Khan (Afghanistan), Fazalhaq Farooqui (Afghanistan), Bradley Wheal (Scotland), Bas De Leede (Netherlands)

Gulf Giants: TBA

Dubai Capitals: TBA

Featured photo: AFP / Saeed Khan