David Warner, Ambati Rayudu and Shadab Khan-1692611591995
From left: David Warner, Ambati Rayudu and Shadab Khan Image Credit: BCCI, IANS

Dubai: After a successful start to the DP World ILT20 league last season, the second edition of the franchise league has raised the bar with the addition of superstars like David Warner, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Maheesh Theekshana and India’s Ambati Rauydu.

Dubai Capitals have roped in the veteran Australian opener Warner, who is one of the game’s greats with his batting feats at the international arena. The left-hander has played 356 T20s around the world amassing 11,695 runs with the help of eight centuries. Warner’s blistering batting will be matched by the searing pace of England pacer Mark Wood, who both are set to spice up the contest.

Maheesh Theekshana

Capitals have brought back Sri Lanka all-rounder Dasun Shanaka, while Afghanistan opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Sam Billings will be joining the Capitals from Sharjah Warriors and Desert Vipers respectively.

Prolific limited overs’ all-rounder Shadab Khan (259 T20s, 2562 runs and 289 wickets), who has captained Pakistan in T20Is joins country men Shaheen Shah Afridi and big-hitting Azam Khan in the Desert Vipers’ squad. Promising Netherlands batting all-rounder Bas de Leede is also in the Vipers’ squad for Season 2.

Champions Gulf Giants have included the Afghanistan 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 among the Giants new recruits for Season 2. Dominic Drakes has been rehired in new players signing window.

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 USA qualified) 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.

Martin Guptill

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).

Brandon McMullen will be playing for Abu Dhabi Knight Riders. The South African-born cricketer who plays for the Scotland national cricket team, made his ODI debut for Scotland against Namibia in December 2022, as part of the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2.

The 23-year-old will be a invaluable addition to the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, who finished last in the six team league last season after winning just one out of 10 games.

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.

Preparations for a blockbuster Season 2 underway following the big success of Season 1, which established the league as the second most-watched cricket league in India, a total of 367 million views gathered from around the world.

As a final step, six franchises will be completing their squads for the new season is for additional players from the UAE to be signed. Further details of this selection process will be announced shortly.


Abu Dhabi Knight Riders

New signings: Brandon McMullen, David Willey, Jake Lintott, Josh Little, Laurie Evans, Michael Pepper, Ravi Bopara and Sam Hain.

Retentions: Ali Khan, Andre Russell, Charith Asalanka, Joe Clarke, Sabir Ali, Sunil Narine, Marchant de Lange and Matiullah Khan.

Desert Vipers

New signings: Adam Hose, Azam Khan, Bas de Leede, Michael Jones, Shadab Khan and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Retentions: Alex Hales, Ali Naseer, Colin Munro, Dinesh Chandimal, Gus Atkinson, Luke Wood, Matheesha Pathirana, Rohan Mustafa, Sheldon Cottrell, Sherfane Rutherford, Tom Curran and Wanindu Hasaranga.

Dubai Capitals

New signings: Andrew Tye, Dasun Shanaka, David Warner, Mark Wood, Max Holden, Mohammad Mohsin, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Nuwan Thusara, Roelof van der Merwe, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Sam Billings.

Retentions: Dushmantha Chameera, Joe Root, Raja Akif, Rovman Powell and Sikandar Raza.

Gulf Giants

New signings: Dominic Drakes, Jordan Cox, Karim Janat, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Saurabh Netravalkar, Jamie Smith.

Retentions: Aayan Afzal Khan, Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Jordan, Chris Lynn, Gerhard Erasmus, James Vince, Jamie Overton, Rehan Ahmed, Richard Gleeson, Sanchit Sharma and Shimron Hetmyer.

MI Emirates

New signings: Akeal Hosein, Ambati Rayudu, Corey Anderson, Kusal Perera, Nosthush Kenjige, Odean Smith, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth and Waqar Salamkheil.

Retentions: Andre Fletcher, Daniel Mousley, Dwayne Bravo, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Jordan Thompson, Kieron Pollard, McKenny Clarke, Muhammad Waseem, Nicholas Pooran, Trent Boult, Will Smeed and Zahoor Khan.

Sharjah Warriors

New signings: Chris Sole, Daniel Sams, Dilshan Madhushanka, James Fuller, Johnson Charles, Kusal Mendis, Lewis Gregory, Maheesh Theekshana, Mark Watt, Martin Guptill, Sean Williams and Qais Ahmed.

Retentions: Chris Woakes, Joe Denly, Junaid Siddique, Mark Deyal, Muhammad Jawadullah and Tom Kohler-Cadmore.