The International League T20 (ILT20), also known as DP World ILT20 due to sponsorship reasons, is a thrilling T20 cricket tournament hosted in the enchanting landscapes of the United Arab Emirates. Sanctioned by the Emirates Cricket Board, this league promises to add a new chapter to the world of cricket.
Inaugural Season Rescheduled
Originally slated to commence in January and February 2023, the inaugural season of ILT20 underwent a rescheduling that pushed the start date to January 2023. The league, featuring six exciting teams, was formally christened the International League T20 in June 2022, alongside the confirmation of its inaugural season’s dates.
A star-studded inauguration ceremony was graced by none other than Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan, setting the stage for a riveting cricket extravaganza.
A Unique T20 Experience
While ILT20 matches adhere to the standard Twenty20 format, it’s worth noting that the statistics generated in this tournament aren’t included in official records. The Emirates Cricket Board’s status as a non-full member of the International Cricket Council plays a role in this distinction. Nonetheless, the tournament showcases high-quality T20 cricket.
A Glimpse of the Dynamic Teams and Their Captains
The International League T20 (ILT20) 2022-23 season was a spectacle of thrilling cricket action, featuring some of the most prominent teams in the world of T20 cricket. Let’s take a closer look at the participating teams, their owners, coaches, and captains.
1. Abu Dhabi Knight Riders
- Owner: Knight Riders Group
- Coach: Abhishek Nayar
- Captain: Sunil Narine
The Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, owned by the Knight Riders Group, were a force to be reckoned with in the ILT20 2022-23 season. Led by the dynamic Sunil Narine and guided by coach Abhishek Nayar, they showcased their T20 prowess with style and panache.
2. Desert Vipers
- Owner: Lancer Capital LLC
- Coach: James Foster
- Captain: Colin Munro
The Desert Vipers, owned by Lancer Capital LLC, were a formidable team in the tournament. With Colin Munro as their captain and James Foster as the coach, the Desert Vipers brought their A-game to the ILT20, making them a team to watch out for.
3. Dubai Capitals
- Owner: GMR Group
- Coach: Phil Simmons
- Captain: Rovman Powell
The Dubai Capitals, backed by the GMR Group, were known for their aggressive style of play. Rovman Powell led the team with distinction, and under the coaching expertise of Phil Simmons, they left a lasting impact in the ILT20 2022-23 season.
4. Gulf Giants
- Owner: Adani Sportsline Pvt. Ltd
- Coach: Andy Flower
- Captain: James Vince
The Gulf Giants, owned by Adani Sportsline Pvt. Ltd, proved to be the ultimate champions of the ILT20 2022-23 season. With James Vince at the helm and Andy Flower’s coaching acumen, they emerged as the team to beat, showcasing exemplary cricket throughout the tournament.
5. MI Emirates
- Owner: Indiawin Sports Pvt. Ltd
- Captain: Kieron Pollard
MI Emirates, led by the explosive Kieron Pollard, brought their Caribbean flair to the ILT20. Their aggressive brand of cricket, combined with the ownership of Indiawin Sports Pvt. Ltd, made them an exciting team to follow.
6. Sharjah Warriors
- Owner: Capri Global Holdings Pvt. Ltd
- Coach: Paul Farbrace
- Captain: Moeen Ali
The Sharjah Warriors, owned by Capri Global Holdings Pvt. Ltd, were known for their fighting spirit. With Moeen Ali as the captain and Paul Farbrace as the coach, they left no stone unturned in their pursuit of glory in the ILT20 2022-23 season.
ILT20 2022-23 Season: Gulf Giants Clinch Championship in Thrilling Final
The International League T20 (ILT20) 2022-23 season witnessed electrifying cricket action, culminating in a thrilling final at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The Gulf Giants emerged as the champions, delivering a superb performance to secure the title. Let’s dive into the highlights of this remarkable season.
The Final Showdown: Gulf Giants vs. Desert Vipers
The grand final took place at the iconic Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai. The Gulf Giants faced off against the Desert Vipers in a high-stakes encounter. The final proved to be a spectacle for cricket enthusiasts as both teams battled fiercely for the coveted championship.
Gulf Giants’ Triumph
The Gulf Giants displayed exemplary cricketing prowess, chasing down their target with resilience and finesse. They managed to restrict the Desert Vipers to a total of 146/8 in their allotted 20 overs. The Desert Vipers’ bowlers put up a commendable effort, but the Gulf Giants showed their mettle, eventually clinching the title with 7 wickets to spare. The final scorecard read Gulf Giants 149/3 (18.4 overs), sealing their victory.
Player of the Series: Chris Jordan (Gulf Giants)
One of the standout performers in the ILT20 2022-23 season was Chris Jordan, representing the Gulf Giants. His all-round excellence and valuable contributions with both bat and ball earned him the well-deserved recognition as the Player of the Series. Jordan’s outstanding performances significantly contributed to his team’s success in the tournament.
The 2022-23 ILT20 season featured six competitive teams, each aiming for glory on the T20 stage. Here’s a glimpse of their performances in the season:
- Abu Dhabi Knight Riders: 6th place
- Dubai Capitals: Semi-Finalists
- Desert Vipers: Runners-up
- Gulf Giants: Champions
- MI Emirates: Semi-Finalists
- Sharjah Warriors: 5th place
Stadiums and Capacity
The United Arab Emirates served as the vibrant backdrop for the ILT20 2022-23 season, with matches being played in three world-class stadiums:
- Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai: With a seating capacity of 25,000, this stadium hosted numerous thrilling encounters.
- Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah: This iconic cricket venue accommodated 16,000 enthusiastic fans who witnessed some gripping T20 action.
- Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi: With a capacity of 20,000, this stadium was another hub of exciting ILT20 matches.
Diverse Ownership and IPL Connect
Franchises in the ILT20 boast a diverse array of owners, including prominent names from the Indian Premier League (IPL). Owners such as the Knight Riders Group, Reliance Industries, GMR Group, Lancer Capitals, Adani Group, and Capri Global Holdings Pvt. Ltd, have invested in these teams. Notably, three original IPL franchise owners, including those of Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, and Delhi Capitals, were given the unique opportunity to sign up to four players from their current IPL squads.
Embracing Diversity: Unique Player Rules
The ILT20 stands out with its player composition rules. Unlike other major T20 leagues, the ILT20 permits nine out of eleven players on each team to be overseas players, a significantly higher number than the usual four or five overseas-player limit. Furthermore, two players on each team must represent a UAE player and a player from an Associate Member nation.
Controversy and Global Attention
The ILT20 has stirred some controversy, particularly regarding the requirement for only one local (UAE) player in each team’s playing XI. Some Full Members have called for regulations mandating a higher minimum number of local players in the ILT20 and other T20 leagues.
Despite such debates, the ILT20 has garnered remarkable attention, with a staggering 108 million viewers tuning in from across India, even as attendance at the matches was relatively low. The absence of Indian, Bangladeshi, and Pakistani cricketers contributed to the lower in-stadium turnout.
In May 2021, Essel Group owned Zee Entertainment Enterprises bought the media rights of this league for 2023-32 this ten years at a cost of US$120 million.
|India||Zee Cinema, Zee Anmol Cinema, Zee Zest, Zee Thirai, Zee Bangla Cinema, & Pictures HD, Flix and Sony Sports Network 2024-32 (merger with ZEE), Zee5 – Live Streaming|
|Pakistan||PTV Sports and Geo Super|
|Sri Lanka||Supreme TV|
|UK||BT Sport and Zee Tv|
|USA and Canada||Willow TV|
|Bangladesh||Gazi TV, T Sports, Toffee|
|New Zealand||Sky Sports NZ|
|Nepal||Sim TV Nepal, Net TV Nepal|
The International League T20 (ILT20) has marked its presence as a dynamic and diverse cricketing spectacle in the UAE. With each season, it aims to raise the bar and further enthrall fans with world-class cricketing action. As the league continues to evolve, it undoubtedly holds the potential to become a significant force in the cricketing world.