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The International League T20 (ILT20) has announced a development tournament from September 30 to October 10 in Dubai. The tournament will act as a platform for UAE's domestic and international players to showcase their talent in a bid to be picked by the ILT20 franchises for the second season of the league.
So far, the six franchises have retained 11 UAE players for the second season, meaning there are 13 spots still up for grabs.
In July, the ICC had approved a cap of four overseas players all new T20 leagues, with a view to limit the player drain feared by some Full Members due to the mushrooming of T20 franchise leagues. This rule doesn't apply to the ILT20 yet but the league will have to conform to those limits within a reasonable period of time. According to the ILT20 rulebook, each playing XI can have a maximum of nine overseas players, with at least two UAE players - and two Associate overseas players needed in the squad.
Six teams will take part in the development tournament, with each team playing five matches in the group stage. The top four will advance to the semi-finals. All the group stage matches will be played at the ICC Academy Grounds with the final on October 10.
Each team will have 14 players with the squads formed through a player draft that will take place next week. More than 300 domestic players have signed up for the pre-tournament player draft.
"We are very happy to see UAE players being provided an opportunity to show their skills through the ILT20 Development Tournament," Emirates Cricket Board general secretary Mubashshir Usmani said. "This initiative is truly a life changing opportunity for these players.
"I am confident that the tournament will be hugely beneficial for the growth of the game and will become a launch pad for participation in the DP World ILT20 as well as aiding in identification and selection of players for UAE's men's teams in the years ahead."