ILT20 announces development tournament for local players ahead of second season

The International League (ILT20), a franchise T20 league in the United Arab Emirates, has scheduled a development tournament from September 30 to October 10 in Dubai.

The International League (ILT20), a franchise-based T20 league in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has unveiled plans for a development tournament set to take place from September 30 to October 10 in Dubai.

This tournament will serve as a significant opportunity for both domestic and international players in the UAE to showcase their cricketing skills with the hope of securing spots in ILT20 franchises for the league’s upcoming second season.

As of now, the six ILT20 franchises have already retained 11 UAE players as part of their squads for Season 2. However, in line with league rules, each franchise must include at least four UAE players in their lineups. This means that there are still 13 spots available for UAE players, and these will be determined through the ILT20 2023 Development Tournament.


Among the 11 retained UAE players are Ali Naseer (Desert Vipers), Aayan Afzal Khan (Gulf Giants), Junaid Siddique (Sharjah Warriors), Matiullah (Abu Dhabi Knight Riders), Mohammad Waseem (MI Emirates), Muhammad Jawadullah (Sharjah Warriors), Raja Akif (Dubai Capitals), Rohan Mustafa (Desert Vipers), Sabir Ali (Abu Dhabi Knight Riders), Sanchit Sharma (Gulf Giants), and Zahoor Khan (MI Emirates). All of them are expected to participate in the development tournament.

In July 2023, the International Cricket Council (ICC) introduced a new rule limiting the number of overseas players in T20 leagues to four. However, this rule does not currently apply to ILT20. Nonetheless, the league will need to adapt to these regulations within a reasonable timeframe.

ILT20’s rulebook stipulates that each playing XI can feature a maximum of nine overseas players, with a requirement for at least two UAE players and two Associate overseas players in the squad.

The development tournament will feature six teams, each playing five matches. The top four teams from the group stage will qualify for the semifinals. All group stage matches will be hosted at the ICC Academy Grounds, with the final set to take place on October 10.

Each team will form a 14-member squad through a player draft scheduled for the upcoming week. Over 300 domestic players have signed up to participate in the tournament.

Mubashshir Usmani, General Secretary of the Emirates Cricket Board, expressed enthusiasm for the opportunity provided to UAE players through the ILT20 Development Tournament. He noted that this initiative is transformative for these players and anticipates its positive impact on the growth of the game. Usmani believes that the tournament will serve as a stepping stone for participation in the DP World ILT20 and assist in identifying and selecting players for UAE’s men’s teams in the future.