UAE T20 league poses the big $450,000 question

Updated on Jul 28, 2022 09:49 PM IST

This big money move would make the league slated to be played between Jan 6 to Feb 12 the second highest paying league in the world behind the Indian Premier League.

Image used for representational purpose(Getty Images)
Image used for representational purpose(Getty Images)
By, Mumbai

In what is shaping into an intense tussle for marquee T20 players amongst three competing leagues scheduled for next January, the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) backed ILT20 has made a powerful money move. It is learned the highest paid player in the league will fetch a salary of US$ 450,000. This would make the league slated to be played between Jan 6 to Feb 12 the second highest paying league in the world behind the Indian Premier League.

The highest player salary in IPL is significantly higher – US$ 2.1 million. Although the highest wage slot in ILT20 is US$ 3,40,000, such a player can also get a maximum of a further US$ 1,10,000 as a loyalty bonus reports ESPN Cricinfo. The other leagues competing in the same space are Cricket Australia’s Big Bash and the upcoming T20 league of Cricket South Africa.

Cricket boards the world over are identifying domestic T20 leagues as vehicles of commercial growth. With the addition of the two new leagues, the cricket world is going through a churn with players being wooed by all the leading T20 leagues. While, details of what the highest paid player in the CSA league would be paid are awaited, the Big Bash recently raised their game by increasing the total salary purse per team as well as value of their highest prized player (US$ 2,35,000).

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The figure however pales in comparison to what’s being offered by ILT20. Besides, the Big Bash is played over a much longer duration of nearly two months. That’s one of the reasons a number of high-profile Australian cricketers, not contracted by the Big Bash teams could choose the more lucrative leagues.

What makes things more complex is the involvement of IPL owners in team ownership in ILT20 (Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals) and the CSA league (MI, DC, Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Lucknow Super Giants). Big Bash hasn’t opened itself up for private ownership.

While the Big Bash and CSA leagues limit the number of overseas players in a playing eleven to 3 and 4 players respectively, the ILT20 requires a much bigger overseas player pool (each team can have up to 12 overseas players in an 18-man squad). As UAE doesn't have a very strong cricket structure, their player pool is comparatively limited and it’s only mandatory that there be one local player and one from an Associate nation in the playing eleven.

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