The DP World ILT20 season 2, with a galaxy of star-studded teams, takes off from tomorrow January 19 (Friday). This one-month long contest consisting of six teams, is an Emirates Cricket Board’s event, and has a List A status granted by the International Cricket Council (ICC). On Thursday, team captains and vice captains who assembled at the Dubai International Stadium for a photo shoot with the trophy, and a press conference that followed, were upbeat about their respective team’s performances.
All teams are packed with legendary cricketers who have sparkled especially in the T20 format and those who have displayed outstanding performances in the recent ICC World Cup in India. Over 100 international cricketers will feature in Season 2. Stars like David Warner, Shaheen Afridi, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo, Nicholas Pooran, Alex Hales, Shadab Khan, Rovman Powell, Dasun Shanaka, Sikandar Raza, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, James Vince, Chris Jordan, Trent Boult, Carlos Brathwaite, Ambati Rayudu, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Chris Woakes, Sherfane Rutherford and Sheldon Cottrell will all be seen in action.
All the three venues – Dubai International Stadium, Sharjah Cricket Stadium, and Abu Dhabi Zayed Cricket Stadium are ready to stage this event. Fifteen matches, including the final, will be held in Dubai, while Abu Dhabi will host 11 matches and Sharjah will stage eight matches. Night matches will commence from 6.30pm and the weekend day matches will start from 2.30pm.
The opening match will be played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on January 19 (Friday) when defending champions Gulf Giants take on Sharjah Warriors from 6.30pm (UAE time). Top umpires from around the world led by Simon Taufel and Aleem Dar will officiate the matches. The commentary team comprises legends like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Virender Sehwag, Shoaib Akhtar, Harbhajan Singh, and many former cricketers.
Legendary pacer Shoaib Akhtar, Brand Ambassador for the DP World ILT20 season 2, set the tempo for the action to follow by stating: “They are all superstars. I am glad I was not born in this era. Players like Chris Lynn would have smacked me all over. Sunil Narine would have always got me out. Good luck to you all. I am sure you will be all rooting for your teams. This is the trophy to be won.” Akhtar then lauded UAE for creating such a platform through this tournament saying. “We saw UAE Under-19 team beating Pakistan Under-19 and this tournament has played a big role in showcasing young talent here.”