The inaugural edition of the DP World International League T20 has been the biggest cricket extravaganza the United Arab Emirates has ever seen. The competition, which began at the Dubai International Stadium on 13 January 2023, witnessed over 100 international stars and several local players dazzle the spectators and the viewers on television with their marvelous shots and fantabulous bowling throughout the month-long competition.
Cricket lovers in the UAE had an absolute blast in the stadium watching the cricket and enjoying several fan activities across the three venues – Dubai International Stadium, Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The tournament has received a fantastic reception on television, recording over 211 million viewers on Zee’s linear channels and digital platform in India alone.
The Desert Vipers, who booked their place in the final after defeating Gulf Giants in Qualifier 1 on Wednesday, have rode on the hard-hitting Alex Hales’ performances. The Englishman has led the most run scorer’s table for the better part of the competition with 468 runs in 11 matches. The Vipers will be hoping for another Hale-storm when they take on the Gulf Giants in the final at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday, 12 February 2023 at 7:30 pm IST on Zee 5.
The DP World ILT20 also witnessed a number of aggressive batters come to the fore, with Gulf Giants’ James Vince, Dubai Capitals’ Rovman Powell, and MI Emirates’ Kieron Pollard shining with several brilliant innings during the course of the exciting season. However, the bowlers also found ways to bamboozle batters in the DP World ILT20. Gulf Giants’ Chris Jordan and David Wiese, and Desert Vipers’ Wanindu Hasaranga have produced top-class performances.
The DP World ILT20 has provided a fantastic opportunity for the UAE players to showcase their talent and they have grabbed their chances with both hands. Among the 24 UAE-based players, MI Emirates’ Muhammad Waseem has mesmerized cricket lovers with his exceptional ball-striking. The experienced Rohan Mustafa has also played several crucial innings for the Desert Vipers. Meanwhile, Sharjah Warriors’ speedster Junaid Siddique and Dubai Capitals’ fast bowler Akif Raja have stolen the show with the ball.
Along with fighting for the trophy, the players have also been vying for the unique player awards introduced by the DP World ILT20. The top run-scorer will bag the Green Belt, the top wicket-taker will be presented with the White Belt, the Most Valuable Player will receive the Red Belt, the Most Valuable UAE Player will be given the Blue Belt and the Black Belt will be presented to the owner of the victorious team.
The Belts have been a big hit among fans around the globe and they have brought about a lot of chatter among cricket lovers on social media.
The DP World ILT20 has left no stone unturned to ensure that the tournament becomes one of the best cricket leagues and therefore the tournament will present one of the highest amounts of prize money in comparison with some of the biggest cricket leagues. The winning team will receive $700,000 and the runner-up team will receive $300,000 at the end of the final on Sunday. The League will also present the winning team with one of the most beautiful trophies in the cricketing world.
Each of the franchises in the DP World ILT20 has formed a strong connection with the fans in the UAE and has increased the passion for the game in the last four weeks. The DP World ILT20 has been a special tournament for the people of UAE and the tournament is well on its way to building a robust cricket culture in the country.
Disclaimer: This article has been produced on behalf of ILT20 UAE by HT Brand Studio.