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Abu Dhabi Knight Riders have retained their ICC T20 World Cup 2012 and 2016 winner, the T20 mega star Andre Russell. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: The DP World ILT20 Season 2 is all set to provide enthralling cricket action for a second successive season with the six participating franchises confirming a star-studded retention list.

International T20 stars Alex Hales (Desert Vipers), James Vince (Gulf Giants), Nicholas Pooran (MI Emirates), Andre Russell (Abu Dhabi Knight Riders), Kieron Pollard (MI Emirates), Wanindu Hasaranga (Desert Vipers), Chris Woakes (Sharjah Warriors), Sikandar Raza (Dubai Capitals) and UAE captain and last year’s Blue Belt winner (Best UAE Player) Mohammad Waseem (MI Emirates) have all been retained by their respective franchises for Season 2 which begins in the second week of January 2024.

Abu Dhabi Knight Riders have retained their ICC T20 World Cup 2012 and 2016 winner, the T20 mega star Andre Russell and last year’s captain, the prolific spinner Sunil Narine — ICC T20 World Cup 2012 winner. Sabir Ali and Matiullah Khan are their UAE retentions.

High-performing stars

Last year’s finalists Desert Vipers have retained the inaugural season’s top-scorer and Green Belt winner Alex Hales. Captain Colin Munro, Sri Lanka spinner Wanindu Hasaranga and Sherfane Rutherford are also part of Desert Vipers’ retention list.

Dubai Capitals have retained Rovman Powell, the West Indian who captained the side in the early stages of Season 1. England stalwart Joe Root and Sri Lanka fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera have also been retained. Zimbabwe’s star performer Sikandar Raza is also on the retention list. Fast bowler Raja Akif is the UAE player retained by the Capitals.

Champions Gulf Giants have retained the core of their triumphant squad which is spearheaded by captain James Vince. White Belt winner (Best Bowler of the Tournament) Chris Jordan, Australia big-hitter Chris Lynn, Shimron Hetmyer and all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite (both West Indies) have been retained. UAE’s high performing youngsters Aayan Afzal Khan and Sanchit Sharma are also on Giants’ retention list.

Sensational batting

MI Emirates retention list is led by Kieron Pollard. The West Indian T20 great, captained the side to the play-offs in the inaugural season. The highest T20 wicket-taker Dwayne Bravo, Nicholas Pooran and Trent Boult have all been retained. Waseem who set Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah ablaze with his sensational batting in the inaugural season is the UAE player on the retention list alongside fast bowler Zahoor Khan.

Sharjah Warriors have retained England bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes alongside their big-hitting batter Tom Kohler-Cadmore who scored a match-winning century (106 off 47 balls, 10 fours, six sixes) for the Sharjah Warriors against the Dubai Capitals in Dubai. Pacers Junaid Siddique and Mohammad Jawadullah are their retained UAE players.

There was no restriction on the number of retentions for international players while the franchises could only retain a maximum of two UAE players.

Meanwhile, the maximum total salary cap for Season 2 will be $2.5 million with a minimum spend of $1.5 million.

Retained players

Abu Dhabi Knight Riders: Ali Khan, Andre Russell, Charith Asalanka, Joe Clarke, Sabir Ali, Sunil Narine, Marchant de Lange and Matiullah Khan.

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

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