Dubai Capitals, the sister franchise of 2020 IPL runners-up Delhi Capitals, on Thursday announced Rovman Powell, Dasun Shanaka, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Dushmantha Chameera, Fabian Allen, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Sikandar Raza as their signings for the International League T20 (ILT20) in the UAE.
Powell, who represents West Indies in international cricket, had played for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2022 earlier this year. In 14 matches for the franchise, he made 250 runs as a lower-order batter, at an average of 25 and strike rate of 149.70 in his very first time in the IPL.
Allen, Powell's team-mate in the West Indies, was in Mumbai Indians squad in IPL 2022 while Rajapaksa was in the Punjab Kings squad and Chameera played for debutants Lucknow Super Giants.
Other players signed up by Dubai Capitals include Hazratullah Zazai (Mujeeb's team-mate from Afghanistan), Niroshan Dickwella and Isuru Udana (Shanaka and Chameera's countrymates from Sri Lanka), Daniel Lawrence (England), Blessing Muzarabani (Raza's team-mate from Zimbabwe), George Munsey (Scotland) and Fred Klassen (the Netherlands). The franchise also said it will draft local UAE players at a later date.
Except for Shanaka, Raza, Zazai, Dickwella, Lawrence, Muzarabani, Munsey and Klassen, the rest of the players signed up by Dubai Capitals have had current or previous IPL playing experiences. Reliance Industries Limited-owned MI Emirates, Knight Riders group-owned Abu Dhabi Knight Riders and the Adani Sportsline-owned Gulf Giants have already announced their squads for the ILT20.
"Being a part of T20 Cricket's most extravagant setup, the Indian Premier League, for 15 years now -- we felt that it was the right time to expand our wings onto the global popularity charts of this format of the sport."
"The International League T20, which is scheduled to be launched in the United Arab Emirates in January 2023, is a perfect stepping-stone for GMR Sports towards building the Capitals universe comprising of a galaxy of cricketing stars from all corners of the world. We are looking forward to making a world-class city like Dubai, our home as Dubai Capitals," said Kiran Kumar Grandhi, Managing Director, GMR Group.
The Dubai Capitals franchise in the ILT20 will be operated by GMR Group, the co-owners of Delhi Capitals in the IPL. Each team in the ILT20 will consist of 18 players, including four local UAE players and two other players from ICC Associate countries. Out of these, nine overseas players are allowed in the playing eleven.
The inaugural edition of ILT20 will be played in a 34-match format across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, starting from January 2023. Apart from GMR Group-owning Dubai Capitals, Reliance Industries Limited (franchise name as the MI Emirates), Lancer Capital, Adani Sportsline (franchise name as Gulf Giants), Knight Riders Group (franchise name as Abu Dhabi Knight Riders) and Capri Global are the other team owners in the league.
ILT20 will be in a direct clash with South Africa's T20 League, also scheduled to begin from next year. Both leagues will be operating when Australia's Big Bash League (BBL) and Bangladesh's Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) will be on.
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