The inaugural edition of the International League T20 (ILT20) will get underway in the United Arab Emirates from January 13 and Ariana Television Network will once again bring another exhilarating cricket tournament into the homes of Afghans across the country.
After securing the exclusive broadcasting rights for Afghanistan, Ariana Television will kick off the broadcast on Friday January 13 and broadcast matches live.
A total of 34 matches will be played in the inaugural edition of the ILT20 across Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, and the tournament will run through to February 12.
The six teams taking part in the competition are Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, Dubai Capitals, Gulf Giants, Desert Vipers, MI Emirates and Sharjah Warriors.
The ILT20 has become the second highest paying franchise league behind the IPL and has attracted several big names from around the world – which will no doubt make the tournament that much more exciting.
In addition, teams are allowed to field as many as nine overseas players in their XI unlike other domestic competitions, which adds a new dimension to the competition.
The action will start with the clash between Dubai Capitals and Abu Dhabi Knight Riders.
Afghanistan meanwhile has 10 of its players showcasing their talents at this new cricket spectacle. They are: Hazratullah Zazai, Qais Ahmad, Faizalhuq Farooqi, Zahir Khan, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Noor Ahmad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Naveen-ul-Haq.
Speaking to The National, in the UAE a few days ago, Nabi, who has been signed up by Sharjah Warriors, said he hopes that no matter what happens in the ILT20, his team puts up a fight every match.
“I would like my team to compete and not play a one-sided game. Whether win or lose, fans should get to enjoy the game.”
ILT20 squad 2023: Full team lists for all six franchises
Abu Dhabi Knight Riders: Sunil Narine (c), Andre Russell, Jonny Bairstow, Paul Stirling, Lahiru Kumara, Charith Asalanka, Brandon Glover, Colin Ingram, Akeal Hosein, Seekkuge Prasanna, Ravi Rampaul, Raymon Reifer, Kennar Lewis, Matiullah Khan, Fahad Nawaz, Sabir Ali, Ali Khan, Zawar Farid, Zaman Khan. Coach: TBA.
Desert Vipers: Colin Munro (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Sam Billings, Alex Hales, Tom Curran, Sandeep Lamichhane, Saqib Mahmood, Sherfane Rutherford, Ben Duckett, Benny Howell, Sheldon Cottrell, Ruben Trumpelmann, Azam Khan, Rohan Mustafa, Shiraz Ahmed, Ali Naseer, Ronak Panoly, Aryan Lakra. Coach: James Foster.
Dubai Capitals: Rovman Powell (c), Dushmantha Chameera, Hazratullah Zazai, Fabian Allen, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sikandar Raza, Isuru Udana, Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dan Lawrence, Blessing Muzarabani, George Munsey, Fred Klaassen, Joe Root, Robin Uthappa, Ravi Bopara, Hazrat Luqman, Chirag Suri, Jash Giyanani, Akif Raja, Yusuf Pathan, Rahul Bhatia. Coach: Phil Simmons.
Gulf Giants: James Vince (c), Chris Jordan, Chris Lynn, Shimron Hetmyer, Tom Banton, Dominic Drakes, David Wiese, Liam Dawson, CP Rizwan, Jamie Overton, Qais Ahmad, Richard Gleeson, Ollie Pope, Rehan Ahmed, Wayne Madsen, Aayan Afzal Khan, Ansh Tandon, Sanchit Sharma, Ashwanth Valthapa. Coach: Andy Flower.
MI Emirates: Kieron Pollard (c), Dwayne Bravo, Nicholas Pooran, Trent Boult, Andre Fletcher, Imran Tahir, Samit Patel, Will Smeed, Basil Hameed, Jordan Thompson, Najibullah Zadran, Zahir Khan, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Brad Wheal, Bas de Leede, Muhammad Waseem, Vriitya Aravind, Zahoor Khan, Lorcan Tucker, Jonathan Figy. Coach: Shane Bond.
Sharjah Warriors: Moeen Ali (c), Dawid Malan, Evin Lewis, Mohammad Nabi, Chris Woakes, Noor Ahmad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Naveen-ul-Haq, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Chris Benjamin, Danny Briggs, Mark Deyal, Bilal Khan, JJ Smit, Karthik Meiyappan, Alishan Sharafu, Junaid Siddique, Muhammad Jawadullah. Coach: Paul Farbrace.
How to watch
For cricket fans in Afghanistan – Ariana Television has done it again, and will broadcast this tournament live in the country.
CLICK here to view the full schedule