Wheal, de Leede sign ILT20 deals

The two associate stars have signed with Mumbai Indians Emirates for the inaugural season of the UAE-based ILT20

Bas de Leede
Netherland's Bas de Leede plays a shot during the ICC mens Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between Ireland and Netherlands at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on October 18, 2021. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP) (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

Scotland’s Brad Wheal and Netherlands’ Bas de Leede have become the first associate players officially signed for the International League T20 (ILT20) in January 2023. Both players have been signed by Mumbai Indians Emirates (MIE) for the inaugural season.

Dutch top-order batter Bas de Leede has been rewarded for recent performances with his first franchise contract. Following a breakthrough ODI 50 against England in June, de Leede slammed 91* against USA to qualify Netherlands for this year’s T20 World Cup. He then backed it up with consecutive T20I fifties against New Zealand earlier this month.

Scotland seamer Brad Wheal bags his third major contract. After carrying London Spirit to their first win in The Hundred last year, Wheal had his contract renewed for the 2022 season. Eight wickets for Scotland at last year’s T20 World Cup, including three against Bangladesh, has further lifted Wheal’s profile.

The ILT20 will feature 6 franchise teams and 34 matches, taking place between 6th January and 12th February 2023 in UAE. Mumbai Indians Emirates are a subsiduary of IPL franchise Mumbai Indians, and are one of three teams in the league owned by IPL franchises.

Each franchise can have a squad of up to 18 players. Within those 18, a minimum of four must be UAE players, and a further two from other associate nations. This guarantees contracts for a total of 36 associate players – 24 from UAE and 12 from elsewhere. All overseas players are chosen by direct negotiations. Arrangements for the selection of local players have not been disclosed.

It is understood that while franchises have already finalised their squads, so far only MIE have announced their selections. A variety of other players are rumoured to have signed deals with the league, including Sandeep Lamichhane, George Munsey, Ali Khan, and Ruben Trumplemann.

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