The inaugural edition of the ILT20 in the UAE will begin on January 13 with Dubai Capitals taking on Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, with the final scheduled for February 12.
There will be a total of 34 matches, 30 in the league stage and then the four playoffs, with the Dubai International Stadium hosting both the tournament opener and the final. A total of 16 matches will be held in Dubai, with Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi hosting ten matches and Sharjah International Stadium hosting eight matches. For five days, every weekend, double headers have been spread.
The six-team competition will feature all teams [Desert Vipers, Gulf Giants, MI Emirates and Sharjah Warriors are the other teams] playing the other two times, with the top four making the playoffs. Subsequently, there will be one play-off and two play-offs – as in the IPL – to identify the two finalists. On single-match days, the action will begin at 6:00 PM local time (7:30 PM IST), while the first matches on double-header days will begin at 2:00 PM local time (3:30 PM IST).
Although all the leagues are running simultaneously, the ILT20 will feature some big names including Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard, Trent Boult, Alex Hales, Moeen Ali, Wanindu Hasaranga, Sikandar Raza and Dasun Shanaka. The contracts of the league’s top players are expected to be around $450,000 per season, making it the second most lucrative T20 league behind the IPL.