The stakeholders of the ILT20, including players, franchise owners, sponsors and broadcasters, are satisfied with the progress of the league, although it has not exactly been spectacular. About a week into the first edition, participants agreed that the UAE could not have hosted a better event to expand the sport in the region.
Attendance was low due to the absence of significant participation from India, Pakistan or Bangladesh, but organizers and broadcasters were optimistic about the results. India has seen great results from the tournament.
The opening ceremony, where international stars performed, attracted 1.5 million concurrent viewers. According to a Zee TV representative, the broadcaster of the league, Knight Riders owner and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan was a huge hit.
Fun according to Mubasher Usmani, Secretary General of the Emirates Cricket Board. Competition will intensify as teams try to climb to the top of the league table. Due to high quality production and telecast, viewers at home and abroad can expect an absolute feast of engaging and thrilling cricketing action.”
The tournament is seen more than anything else as a much-desired venture for UAE players, who are becoming more and more popular in world cricket.
Man of the Match: Mohammad Wasim
Muhammad Wasim, a batsman from the United Arab Emirates, won the player of the match award for his batting performance in the second game of the league which outshone his team’s veterans like Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran and Dwayne Bravo. Local bowler Sanchit Sharma won the third game for the Adani-owned Gulf giants.
It is headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, where a lot of cricket is played, in ICC, Asian or Pakistan events. This is their first tournament, and a large cricket community resides here.
Sharjah Warriors team director R. Sridhar added: It is transforming talent in the UAE. It must have been an eye opener for them to meet and compete with some of the established players in this format. They are also witnessing a professional change room culture, which will undoubtedly stimulate their thinking and work ethic.”
The Emirates Cricket Board says the money from the league will be used to improve the country’s players and the game. However, they have big ambitions. The ECB, with its sophisticated infrastructure and history of hosting major international events, has long sought full membership of the ICC.
However, due to the nature of the rules, it is difficult for an associate member to become a full member unless they regularly compete with other members. However, associates are barely considered full members.
An affiliate, for example, must register at least a win:
(a) a full member team in the ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC CWC Qualifier, ICC World T20, or ICC World T20 Qualifier that is ranked in the top ten of the official ICC ODI or T20I rankings at the time of the relevant win; (b) four wins in bilateral ODI and/or T20I cricket against two (2) or more full member teams ranked in the top ten of the official ICC ODI or T20I rankings at the time of the relevant win; Both in the last eight years.
If you don’t play regularly against full members, it’s hard to reach the goal. Bharat Arun, the former bowling coach of the Indian team, believes that they will eventually achieve the target.
ILT20 will be like Indian Premier League for UAE cricketers. “They will improve and ultimately reap the rewards of playing with and against international stars,” asserted the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders head coach.