The UAE T20 league is set to be played from the 13th of January till the 12th of February. Six different teams will participate in the competition, and all of them have announced their squads for the competition. Here, you will find the 10 ILT20 league top players you need to keep an eye on.
The newest addition to the world of T20 leagues has excited cricket fans, who are eager to witness the first edition of the competition. The fans are curious to watch their favorite cricketers feature in this tournament. Also, they want to know about the UAE T20 league top players.
From Hales to Gurbaz and Moeen to Raza, there are several superstar players who will be in action during ILT20 2023. Let’s discuss about the top ones in detail.
1) Alex Hales
After being kept out of England’s national side for more than 3 years, Alex Hales was finally called back before the 2022 T20 World Cup. His blistering knock against India in the semi-final powered his team to the final of the mega event.
But, the vital reason behind Hales’ recall was his consistent performances in T20 leagues around the world. Whether it was Pakistan Super League, Big Bash League, or T20 blast league, Hales was setting the cricketing stage on fire everywhere. In the last 3 years, Hales has been in prime form, and his T20 performances reflect that quite clearly.
Apart from league cricket, Hales has got a tremendous record in T20 Internationals as well. He has played 75 T20Is for England while scoring more than 2000 runs at an average of almost 31. In this format of the game, he is indeed a modern-day superstar. On his day, he can take any bowling attack to the cleaners and win the game on his own.
2) Jonny Bairstow
Jonny has been in red-hot form across the formats during the last couple of years. He is essentially an opener in white ball cricket but was demoted to #4 by England due to their team combination requirements. In 60 T20Is for England, Bairstow has piled up 1337 runs at a fine strike rate of 136.43.
His superlative batting displays in International cricket attracted the IPL franchises as well. He has featured in 39 IPL matches and scored runs at an amazing strike rate of 142.65. Also, he is one of the most wanted cricketers in league cricket because of his sensational power-hitting ability.
Without a doubt, he will be one of the ILT20 top players, and we can expect him to bat at his regular opening position. The opening slot suits him the most, and we might see the best of him in this league.
3) Moeen Ali
England Cricket Team is by far the current best white ball team in world cricket. Having won both ODI and T20 World Cup in the last three years, they have produced dozens of T20 superstars. One of them is Moeen Ali, who is also one of the UAE T20 league top players.
Mo captained Worctershire county in England’s domestic T20 competition. He has been truly fantastic for his side with the bat, ball, and also as a skipper. He led them to Championship glory once and finals day twice in the previous 3 years.
After taking retirement from test cricket and refusing a red ball county contract, Mo decided to focus more on league cricket. He has been playing for Chennai Super Kings in IPL and Multan Sultans in PSL. His performances in both leagues are quite remarkable, and they show that is exactly why Mo is rated so highly in this format.
4) Trent Boult
The star Kiwi left-arm pacer recently announced that he wouldn’t be taking the central contract from New Zealand cricket. The reason behind this decision was his desire to play more franchise cricket. That’s why we will now watch him in cricket’s latest and most innovative league – the ILT20.
Trent Boult has been a regular feature in the Indian Premier League. Apart from IPL, he hasn’t played many other T20 leagues as he was more focused on playing for New Zealand.
The speedster is hailed as one of the finest fast bowlers of this era. He is equally effective with the new ball and at the death. Boult has bagged 74 T20I wickets and 92 IPL wickets in his career. He is certainly a great addition to any T20 side in the world.
5) David Wiese
When Wiese started his international career for South Africa, he immediately got some fame for his destructive power-hitting. Then, he moved to England as a result of the Kolpak deal and became a regular feature in league cricket.
With more than 300 T20 games against his name, he is one of the most experienced T20 cricketers going around at the moment. His strike rate of 144.5 exhibits his super impressive batting skills in the slog overs. Wiese has played in different leagues, but Pakistan Super League has been his most favorite. He has helped his franchise Lahore Qalandars win many games with his batting.
Apart from his batting, Wiese is also highly valuable with the ball in hand. He returned to international cricket and played for the Namibian side in the last two T20 World Cups. He has been bowling with the new ball for them and has also rolled his arm over during the middle phase or death overs. So, David Wiese has got all it should take to be on the ILT20 top players’ list.
6) Andre Russell
When it comes to franchise cricket, Dre Russ is a name that instantly comes to everybody’s mind. The star Caribbean all-rounder has been representing Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League for years now. His T20 strike rate of 151.6 and 175 IPL sixes are enough to show his T20 legacy. KKR fans can’t even imagine an IPL without him, as he is an integral part of the side.
Apart from IPL, he has played almost every other T20 league. However, the biggest attribute of his T20 career is not the T20 leagues but the honors he got in T20 international cricket. Andre Russell is a two-time T20 World Champion who played a massive role in winning both trophies for West Indies.
His ability and experience in this format are second to none. That’s why we have picked him as one of the ILT20 top players.
7) Sikandar Raza
Zimbabwean all-rounder was one of the top performers in the recently concluded T20 World Cup. His performances with the bat and ball have lifted Zimbabwe’s side to make them a much more improved team. Since 2021, he has been enjoying a purple patch in his white-ball career.
All these performances have made him a hot deal for the T20 franchises. Consequently, he was picked for the first edition of the UAE T20 league. His team will have a lot of hopes for him as a middle-order batter and a spinner who can provide control with his variations.
8) James Vince
Here’s another one of the English white ball players who has made a name for himself in this format of the game. James Vince has accumulated almost 8000 runs in T20 cricket with a decent strike rate of 134.2. The opening batter has played in various T20 leagues around the world and has shown his capability to play those match-winning knocks.
Vince can also keep wickets if needed. He is currently doing the wicketkeeping job in the T10 league. He will play for Gulf Giants in the competition and will be responsible for providing them with a good start at the top.
9) Saqib Mahmood
Saqib is relatively inexperienced in T20 cricket, with just 59 T20 and 12 T20I games under his belt. But, his express pace and skills make him one of the UAE T20 league top players. The 25-year-old is well known for his ability to extract enormous seam movement by hitting the deck hard. This ability makes him lethal with the new ball.
In the latter stages of the innings, he bowls some incredibly good yorkers and can produce some fine reverse-swinging deliveries. Saqib has all the abilities to excel as a T20 fast bowler.
10) Rahmanullah Gurbaz
The last name on the list of ILT20 top players is Afghanistan’s flamboyant opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz. The right-hander has already got picked in the IPL, PSL, and CPL. He is Afghanistan’s best T20 batsman at the moment. His strike rate of 138 and 142 in T20s and T20Is, respectively, shows that he can be hard to stop on his day.
Gurbaz is just 20 years old and has already played some scintillating knocks in this format. So, he is certainly one of the players to watch out for in the inaugural season of the UAE T20 league.