The inaugural edition of the UAE’s T20 league, International League T20 (ILT20) is all set to be staged in January-February next year. While the first match of the tournament is to be played on 13 January, the summit clash of ILT20 is expected to be played on 12 February. A total of 34 matches are expected to be played in the first edition of ILT20 with each of the six teams playing twice against each other before the four playoff matches.
Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, Desert Vipers, Dubai Capitals, Gulf Giants, MI Emirates, and Sharjah Warriors are the five teams finalized for the first edition of the International League T20. 84 international and 24 UAE-based cricketers are expected to be a part of the inaugural season of ILT20.
“The UAE's new International League T20 (ILT20) is set to begin on January 13 in Dubai, with the final likely to be contested on February 12,” claimed an ESPNCricinfo report.
However, it will be interesting to see how the organizers manage to conduct the tournament with three more T20 leagues lined up around the same time. The first edition of ILT20 is set to clash entirely with South Africa's new T20 league, the SA20, which has announced fixtures running from January 10 to February 11, 2023.
Australia's Big Bash League will also be on at the time - it starts in December and runs till February 4. The 2023 season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), meanwhile, is set to begin on February 9, and the Bangladesh Premier League is also expected to be played somewhere in the same window.
However, ILT20 and SA20 have made a pact-like deal and will try not to interfere in each other’s businesses. Meanwhile, the players have also made a clear choice. While the likes of Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Trent Boult, Alex Hales, Moeen Ali, Wanindu Hasaranga, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Sikandar Raza will feature in ILT20, top South African stars like Faf du Plessis will play in the SA20.