A number of Associate cricket’s highest profile players have been signed up for next year’s International League T20 (ILT20), played in UAE in January. Players have been drawn from across the Associate landscape, including Nepal, Scotland, Namibia, and the Netherlands.
The ILT20 will feature six franchise teams, playing a total of 34 matches between 6th January and 12th February in the UAE. Each franchise may have a squad of up to 18 players, four of whom must be local players. Of the 14 overseas players, a further two must be from other Associate nations.
The six franchises have announced their overseas signings over the course of the last week. Among the Associate signings include three players each from Namibia and Netherlands, two from Scotland, and one each from Nepal, USA and Oman.
First two announce their signings was Mumbai Indians Emirates. The side, owned by IPL franchise Mumbai Indians, signed Scotland seamer Brad Wheal, and Netherlands batter Bas de Leede.
Two more of the ILT20 franchises are subsidiaries of IPL teams. Abu Dhabi Knight Riders – part of the Kolkata Knight Riders group – signed Brandon Glover and Ali Khan. Khan continues his association with the Knight Riders group, having previously signed for their Kolkata and Trinidad and Tobago franchises. Ireland’s Paul Stirling was also included in the squad.
The third IPL-backed team is Dubai Capitals, owned by Delhi Capitals. Dubai signed Netherlands seamer Fred Klaasen alongside Scotland opener George Munsey. The squad also included two Zimbabwean signings: Blessing Muzarabani and Sikander Raza.
Nepali superstar Sandeep Lamichhane added another side to his long list of franchise teams. The legspinner joined Desert Vipers, alongside Namibian seamer Ruben Trumplemann. Trumplemann was one of three Namibian signings on the back of their breakthrough T20 World Cup appearance. All-rounder JJ Smit signed for Sharjah Warriors, along with Oman’s Bilal Khan. Both players received their first major T20 contracts.
The signings did not go without controversy, however. Alongside David Wiese, Gulf Giants signed Wayne Madsen as their second Associate overseas pick. Born in South Africa before moving to England and requalifying as a local through citizenship, Madsen holds and Italian passport through heritage. However, the all-rounder has never represented the country through which he qualifies as an ‘Associate player’ at any level.
Arrangements for the selection of locals players are yet to be announced.
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