Dubai Capitals, Abu Dhabi Knight Riders to lock horns in ILT20 opener

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Making its debut in January (2023), the inaugural ILT20, which has received multi-year ICC approval, will be played across the UAE’s exemplary, world-class Cricket facilities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah…reports Asian Lite News

The first edition of the International League T20 is assured to raise the roof of the Dubai International Stadium (Dubai, UAE) through a blockbuster opening match between GMR’s Dubai Capitals and Knight Rider Group’s Abu Dhabi Knight Riders as the League gets underway on Friday January 13 (2023).

The much-anticipated schedule sees the competition played from January 13 through to the final on February 12. Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Cricket Stadium’s first game is on Saturday 14 January, a mouth-watering clash between Reliance Group’s MI Emirates and Capri Global’s Sharjah Warriors. The same two teams participate in the opening fixture at the famed Sharjah Cricket Stadium on January 17.

There will be a total of 34 games — 30 in the league stage and then the four playoffs. A total of 16 games will be held in Dubai, Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium will host ten games, and the Sharjah International Stadium will host eight games. Double headers have been slotted for five days, all weekends.

The six-team competition will have all the teams — 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) — playing the others twice, with the top four making it to the playoffs. Thereafter, there will be an eliminator and two qualifiers — like in the IPL — to identify the two finalists.

On days with a single game, the action will start at 6 pm local time (1930 hrs IST), while the first games on days with double-headers will start at 2 pm local time (1530 hrs IST).

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 Rider’s 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.”

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).

ILT20’s full match schedule is available online at www.ilt20.ae.

Making its debut in January (2023), the inaugural ILT20, which has received multi-year ICC approval, will be played across the UAE’s exemplary, world-class Cricket facilities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Cricket fans across the world can catch the LIVE telecast of this exciting cricket league on ZEE’s linear channels, digital platform, Zee5 as well as Zee Cinema SD, Zee Cinema HD, Zee Anmol Cinema, &Pictures HD, &Flix SD, &Flix HD, Zee Zest SD, Zee Zest HD, Zee Bangla Cinema and Zee Thirai.

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). ILT20 news, updates and interactive chat can be found via www.ilt20.ae and @ILT20Official on facebook, twitter, instagram, tiktok, snap chat and linkedin.

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