Abu Dhabi [UAE], November 29 (ANI): A blockbuster match between Dubai Capitals and Abu Dhabi Knight Riders will open the first-ever edition of International League T20 at Dubai International Stadium in Dubai from January 13.
Abu Dhabi's Zayed Cricket Stadium's first game is on Saturday 14 January, a clash between MI Emirates and Sharjah Warriors. The same two teams will participate in the fixture at the famed Sharjah Cricket Stadium on January 17, as per a press release from the league.
Speaking about the ILT20 schedule, Mubashshir Usmani, General Secretary, Emirates Cricket Board said, "This is a very exciting time for the league and, collectively, we are delighted to announce the 2023 ILT20 playing schedule. To have superstars such as Dubai Capital's Dasun Shanaka and Abu Dhabi Knight Riders Andre Russell open their teams' accounts is very exciting."
"We cannot wait for the teams to arrive (in early January) and battle it out on the park and provide world-class entertainment to the cricket fans here, in the UAE, and around the globe.
"It is very important for us to launch the first season in an emphatic style, and the league management is very excited to have engaged with globally recognised artists in Badshah and Jason Derulo, both of whom will undoubtedly energise the teams, and the fans leading into the opening match. We are confident that the ILT20 will be a huge success," he concluded.
With ten matches scheduled in Abu Dhabi, sixteen in Dubai and eight in Sharjah, the competition will set the UAE-cricketing stage on fire with stars such as Shimron Hetmyer, Moeen Ali, Kieron Pollard, and Wanindu Hasaranga, as well as a number of UAE's elite playing in a total 34 matches, boasting five-weekend-day double-headers, and where the six franchises will play each other twice before the playoffs, culminating in the thrilling final in Dubai on February 12 (2023).
Making its debut in January (2023), the inaugural ILT20, which has received multi-year ICC approval, will be played across the UAE's world-class Cricket facilities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Zee is the media partner of this league.
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). (ANI)