The second edition of the ILT20 is set to run in the window between January 19 and February 18 next year. The six teams – Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, Dubai Capitals, MI Emirates, Sharjah Warriors, Desert Vipers and defending champions Gulf Giants – will play a total of 34 games across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah within that 30-day period.
Recently, the likes of David Warner, Mark Wood, Shadab Khan and Ambati Rayudu signed up for the second season. Warner and Wood, rivals at the Ashes recently, will play at Capitals, while Shadab joins Pakistan team-mates Shaheen Shah Afridi and Azam Khan at Vipers. Rayudu, who retired from all Indian cricket after IPL 2023 and is currently playing in the CPL, has been signed up by MI Emirates, while Martin Guptill and Maheesh Theekshana will play for Warriors alongside Lewis Gregory.
The schedule will clash with the five-match India vs England Test series that begins on January 25 in Hyderabad; Wood and Joe Root, who are both part of the ILT20, are expected to be part of the England squad there. Warner, meanwhile, is expected to fulfil his BBL commitments with Sydney Thunder – the tournament will end on January 24 – before hopping across to the UAE to be part of the ILT20. He will require a No-Objection Certificate from Cricket Australia to play in the league.
The second season of the ILT20 will also run more or less concurrently with the second season of the SA20 league in South Africa, which is expected to be played from January 10 to February 10. This was the case last year too. And while the dates for the PSL and the BPL haven’t been announced yet, there could be some overlap there too.
The last stage of the squad-building process will involve selecting the UAE players, details of which will be “announced shortly” according to an official release.
In February this year, less than a week after Gulf Giants were named inaugural champions at the first edition of the ILT20, it was announced that ILT20 2024 would kick off on January 13 2024. That has now changed. The ILT20 was one of two new men’s franchise leagues added to the calendar last year, along with the SA20, with a crossover of team owners in both leagues and the IPL.
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