UAE Cricket aims put Associate Cricket on front-foot of financial sustainability

UAE Cricket aims put Associate Cricket on front-foot of financial sustainability

ILT20 model seen as a financial and grass-roots obligation to all Associate Members.

Bat and Ball
Bat and Ball. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

UAE, Dubai, Saturday August 6th, 2022: UAE’s ILT20, with the full support of its Franchise owners, sponsors, and stakeholders, remains unwaveringly committed to what every Full Member and Associate Member continues to raise at every opportunity as their primary mandate – to grow the game at the domestic level, identify new talent, provide opportunities to excel, and make the game sustainable.

What has attracted franchise owners to the model is that the ILT20 is not merely a ‘cut-and-paste’ of what is seen in the ‘T20 League’ world which is, and has been, adopted by various Full Member leagues. These are Members who can afford the luxury of funding from the sport’s governing body – the International Cricket Council (where, comparatively, UAE receives less than one-eighth of what a Full Member receives) as well afford the luxury of time to implement structures to build a strong domestic pool.

A leading ICC Associate Member, the UAE is considered a ‘Land of Opportunity’ where an estimated ten million people work, play, and call home (which, of this estimate, close to nine million are expatriates), the UAE has embraced this diverse diaspora and strives to provide those who display sporting talent with the opportunity to rub-shoulders and learn from the best in the game today. This mind-set, and walk the talk attitude is paramount to growth and sustainability.

The ILT20 is an innovative, progressive model aimed at providing those who display talent and commitment with opportunity to excel at its heart, and not be suffocated nor monopolized by the position of others within the game today, one that those involved with the League strongly believe should be appreciated and supported as healthy competition that will benefit players, and the entire eco system of cricket.

Emirates Cricket’s Domestic Calendar already boasts a strong, domestic pathway for its domiciled, eligible players to take the next step onto the world-stage – specifically the D10, D20 and D50 (short-form) formats which brings together the top six (UAE-based) Council-selected teams to compete in a structured, highly competitive series. The D-series dovetails well into the League’s position to open the door for players who show talent to progress to that world-stage.

With the understanding that two UAE-developed players will be in each franchisee’s playing XI, UAE’s academies and Councils – Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Dubai, Ajman and those with close to and strong affiliations with the administrators of the game (in the UAE) have put forward their chosen domestic-players for consideration – some have already been identified by the franchises themselves with talks underway. This is not isolated to the UAE, where other Associate Members are in talks with the League’s Administrators and Franchise owners to include their proven talent in the competition.

In exposing UAE’s players to high-level, international matches ratified by the ICC, of which the ILT20 has received a multi-year approvals, it bodes well for Associate Cricket as this approval is perceived that the world’s governing body of the sport understands and respects that those at Associate Level need to show innovation in order to develop the game in their area and take it forward into the future without the reliance on ICC funding.

The League also has complete confidence that players and franchises will relish and find incomparable experience in the guarantee to train and play in and on some of the best cricket-infrastructure, in one of the most attractive destinations in the world, adds immense value to the ILT20.

ILT20 remains committed to creating a sustainable – development and financial –  model and future for the growth of the Associate Member, and those that need to look beyond the ICC-funding fallback. Only through exposing international-standard players, experts and sports administrators to such initiatives will cricket be allowed to flourish.