DUBAI: Some of the world’s biggest cricket stars will represent the six DP World ILT20 franchises in Season 2 of the UAE’s biggest cricket league — the second most-watched in India.
Australia’s all-format opener David Warner, of the Dubai Capitals, is among the full list of superstars that the six teams have signed for Season 2.
Warner, with 350 internationals for Australia, is already a great of the game with his batting feats on the world stage. The left-hander has played 356 T20s around the world, amassing 11,695 runs with the help of eight centuries.
England’s Mark Wood has also joined the Capitals, and is rated among the fastest bowlers in the world, having produced some match-winning performances in the recent past.
In addition to Warner and Wood, the Capitals have brought back Sri Lanka all-rounder Dasun Shanaka. Afghanistan opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who scored 168 runs in eight innings for the Sharjah Warriors last season, has also made the move, alongside English wicketkeeper-batter Sam Billings, who scored 285 runs in 11 innings for the Desert Vipers in Season 1.
England’s seasoned white-ball pacer David Willey (107 internationals) leads the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders’ new signings. Willey adds to the squad a wealth of T20 experience with 269 matches. Ireland’s talented left-armer Josh Little joins Willey as one of Knight Riders’ new signings, along with England’s richly experienced all-rounder Ravi Bopara (171 internationals, 458 T20s) who has moved from the Capitals.
Prolific limited overs’ all-rounder Shadab Khan (259 T20s, 2,562 runs and 289 wickets) who has captained Pakistan in T20Is, joins countrymen Shaheen Shah Afridi (announced last week) and big-hitting Azam Khan at the Vipers, alongside promising Netherlands batting all-rounder Bas de Leede.
Champions Gulf Giants have added the Afghan duo of all-rounder Karim Janat and spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman (244 T20 wickets). Mujeeb appeared for the Capitals last season. The 22-year-old talented English batter Jordan Cox is also amongst the Giants’ new recruits for Season 2, and Dominic Drakes has been rehired.
MI Emirates have added more all-round strength to their squad by signing the once-fastest ODI century maker Corey Anderson. The former New Zealand player, now qualified for the US, has featured in 152 T20 matches in various competitions around the world. Anderson joins former Indian batter Ambati Rayudu who, besides his 61 international appearances for his country, has rich experience of T20 cricket. The right-hander has scored 6,028 runs in the format. Akeal Hosein who represented the Knight Riders in the opening season, joins the MIE squad for Season 2.
Star New Zealand opener Martin Guptill will be making his DP World ILT20 debut next season for Sharjah Warriors. The right-hander has scored 9,055 runs in 324 T20 matches with the help of five centuries. Besides Guptill, the Warriors have included the potent T20 Sri Lankan spinner Maheesh Theekshana (127 T20 wickets).
The Sharjah side have also added to their squad the experienced duo of West Indian Johnson Charles and England all-rounder Lewis Gregory. Afghanistan spinner Qais Ahmed, who was part of Giants squad in Season 1, has moved to the Sharjah camp for Season 2.
The final step for the six franchises to complete their squads for the upcoming season is for additional players from the UAE to be signed.