ILT20 Season 2: Top Retained Players​

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As ILT20 gears up for its second season, the finalists of the inaugural edition, Gulf Giants and Desert Vipers, along with MI Emirates, have opted to retain a majority of their players. Gulf Giants, the reigning champions, and Desert Vipers, the runners-up, aim to maintain their winning formula by keeping their core intact. On the other hand, Dubai Capitals, Sharjah Warriors, and Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, who finished at the bottom last season, have chosen to revamp their line-ups.

Notable omissions from the retained players’ list include Moeen Ali (formerly with Warriors) and
Bhanuka Rajapaksa (formerly with Capitals), both of whom have joined SA20, which coincides with the ILT20 along with the BBL and Bangladesh Premier League.

“Our strategy involves retaining 11 players while ensuring the continuity of our backend team. We
strongly believe in the value of consistency and stability, which allows our players to build on their past success,” stated Andy Flower, the head coach of Gulf Giants. “However, we also acknowledge the importance of evolution and improvement.

“To maintain our winning mentality, we will carefully assess the performance and fitness of our retained players, ensuring they remain the best fit for our team. Simultaneously, we will actively scout for new talent, seeking individuals who can bring fresh skills and perspectives to the squad. This healthy competition will motivate our retained players to continually elevate their game.”

Tom Moody, the director of cricket for Desert Vipers, expressed, “Our primary objective in the retention process for 2024 was to preserve a strong core of players who played a pivotal role in our journey to the final during the inaugural year of ILT20.

Top Players Retained for ILT20 Season 2: Hales, Russell, Narine, Hetmyer among Key Names

The retention process for the second season of ILT20 is now complete, and the teams have made their choices. While some players have moved on to other leagues, several prominent names have been retained by their respective franchises. The maximum total salary cap for the season remains unchanged at US$ 2.5 million, with a minimum spend requirement of US$ 1.5 million.

The teams have the flexibility to sign new players, and the window for overseas player signings will close on July 31. According to the league’s press statement, there are no restrictions on the number of international player retentions, while franchises can retain a maximum of two UAE players.

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Among the retained players are well-known figures such as Alex Hales, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shimron Hetmyer, Wanindu Hasaranga, Sikandar Raza, Rovman Powell, Chris Jordan, James Vince, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Trent Boult, and Chris Woakes. They will continue to showcase their skills in ILT20 Season 2.

Each team can have a roster of 18 to 22 players. The focus during the retention process was to strike a balance between keeping key players from the previous season and creating room for new signings. The aim is to develop the squads for future success and growth.

The upcoming season promises exciting cricket action, and fans can expect their favorite players to deliver thrilling performances on the field.

ICC to Discuss Limiting Overseas Players in T20 Leagues

The subject of capping the number of overseas players participating in T20 leagues will be a major topic of discussion at the ICC’s annual general meeting. Currently, the ILT20, CPL, and Major League Cricket allow a higher number of overseas players in their playing XIs compared to other leagues.

ILT20, played under the Emirates Cricket Board, permits nine overseas players in the playing XIs
alongside two local (UAE) players. The squads can have a total of 12 overseas players, directly signed by the franchises. Similarly, CPL allows five overseas players, while Major League Cricket in the USA allows six.

Concerns have been raised by some Full Member nations about the player drain caused by the rapid expansion of T20 leagues, which often run concurrently. Players opting out of central contracts to participate in these lucrative leagues have become a common occurrence, impacting national cricket boards.

To address this issue, an ICC working group has proposed a recommendation to limit the number of overseas players, including retired internationals, to a maximum of four in a T20 league’s playing XI. This recommendation will be extensively debated during the ICC’s annual general meeting. It will first be discussed at the ICC’s chief executives’ committee meeting before being brought forward to the ICC Board for consideration later in the week.

The aim is to strike a balance between promoting the growth and competitiveness of T20 leagues while safeguarding the interests of national cricket boards and maintaining the quality of international cricket. The outcome of these discussions will shape the future regulations governing the participation of overseas players in T20 leagues.

Retained and Released Players for ILT20 Season 2

Abu Dhabi Knight Riders

Retained Players: Ali Khan, Andre Russell, Charith Asalanka, Joe Clarke, Sabir Ali, Sunil Narine, Marchant de Lange, Matiullah Khan

Released Players: Brandon King, Colin Ingram, Connor Esterhuizen, Kennar Lewis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Fahad Nawaz, Raymon Reifer, Paul Stirling, Brandon Glover, Akeal Hosein, Lahiru Kumara, Ravi Rampaul, Zawar Farid

Desert Vipers

Retained Players: Alex Hales, Ali Naseer, Colin Munro, Dinesh Chandimal, Gus Atkinson, Luke Wood, Matheesha Pathirana, Rohan Mustafa, Sheldon Cottrell, Shrefane Rutherford, Tom Curran, Wanindu Hasaranga

Released Players: Sam Billings, Adam Lyth, Benny Howell, Ronak Panoly, Jake Lintott, Tymal Mills, Shiraz Ahmed, Ruben Trumpelmann, Mark Wat

Dubai Capitals

Retained Players: Dushmantha Chameera, Joe Root, Akif Raja, Rovman Powell, Sikandar Raza

Released Players: Chirag Suri, Niroshan Dickwella, Hazratullah Zazai, Dan Lawrence, George Munsey, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Robin Uthappa, Fabian Allen, Ravi Bopara, Chamika Karunaratne, Yusuf Pathan, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Hazrat Luqman, Fred Klaassen, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Jash Giyanani, Ollie White

Gulf Giants

Retained Players: Aayan Afzal Khan, Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Jordan, Chris Lynn, Gerhard Erasmus, James Vince, Jamie Overton, Rehan Ahmed, Richard Gleeson, Sanchit Sharma, Shimron Hetmyer

Released Players: Tom Banton, Ollie Pope, C Rizwan, Ashwanth Valthapa, Liam Dawson, Dominic Drakes, David Wiese, Qais Ahmad, Tom Helm

MI Emirates

Retained Players: Andre Fletcher, Daniel Mousley, Dwayne Bravo, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Jordan Thompson, Kieron Pollard, McKenny Clarke, Muhammad Waseem, Nicholas Pooran, Trent Boult, Will Smeed, Zahoor Khan

Released Players: Vriitya Aravind, Basil Hameed, Najibullah Zadran, Lorcan Tucker, Bas de Leede, Tom Lammonby, Craig Overton, Samit Patel, Imran Tahir, Brad Wheal, Zahir Khan

Sharjah Warriors

Retained Players: Chris Woakes, Joe Denly, Junaid Siddique, Mark Deyal, Muhammad Jawadullah, Tom Kohler-Cadmore

Released Players: Chris Benjamin, Evin Lewis, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Dawid Malan, Alishan Sharafu, Moeen Ali, Marcus Stoinis, Mohammab Nabi, Paul Walter, Karthik Meiyappan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Noor Ahmad, Bilal Khan, Jamal Todd

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