ILT20 displayed high merit of cricket, says former England captain Gatting

Former Australian player and coach Justin Langer reminisces Australia’s ICC T20 World Cup 2021 victory in Dubai

By Team KT

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Former England captain Mike Gatting (left) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. — Supplied photo
Former England captain Mike Gatting (left) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. — Supplied photo

Published: Mon 13 Feb 2023, 8:18 PM

Former England captain Mike Gatting felt that the cricket that was on display in the just concluded DP World ILT20 was of a very high merit and heaped praise on the facilities at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Gatting, who is also the chairman of the MCC World Cricket Committee, was in Dubai along with former Australian cricketer and coach Justin Langer to witness the final of the tournament between the Gulf Giants and the Desert Vipers in Dubai on Sunday.

The Gulf Giants etched their name in history after becoming the first-ever champions of the tournament. The Giants defeated the Vipers by seven wickets. The month-long tournament was held across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

"The cricket is always good here in Dubai and it's always nice to be here in the city," said Gatting.

"I've been to the Dubai International Stadium once or twice and the stadium always keeps improving. The ground looked lovely during the final. The UAE has always produced some really good players. It doesn't surprise me that the DP World ILT20 has gone well. And cricket of very high merit was played in the UAE,” he added.

Gatting also said that the numerous franchise T20 tournaments are great for cricket lovers. “There are some fantastic T20 players all around the world. And it's interesting to see how the tournaments are springing up all around the globe. This is great for the cricket lover. It's great to see families and kids at the T20 tournaments.”

Former Australian cricketer and coach Justin Langer (second from right) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. — Supplied photo
Former Australian cricketer and coach Justin Langer (second from right) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. — Supplied photo

Speaking about the ILT20, Langer said: “I have worn all caps in cricket. I was a player then I became a coach, and now I am a broadcaster. I am also working with the MCC World Cricket committee. I've seen all the different perspectives in cricket. Anywhere we see entertaining cricket and players getting an opportunity to showcase their skills and talent is nothing but positive.”

The former coach also reminisced Australia’s ICC T20 World Cup 2021 victory in Dubai. “It's always a great place to come and play cricket or come and watch cricket. It's a magnificent stadium. We won the T20 World Cup when I was here last time. So, I've great memories here.”

The tournament received an excellent reception on television as well as on digital during the month-long competition. Over 200 million fans tuned in to the live broadcast on ZEE’s linear channels, digital platform, Zee5 as well as Zee Cinema SD, Zee Cinema HD, Zee Anmol Cinema, &Pictures HD, &Flix SD, &Flix HD, Zee Zest SD, Zee Zest HD, Zee Bangla Cinema, Zee Thirai. The tournament was also seen on CricLife across the UAE and MENA regions.

Along with the fantastic cricket on display, the fans also enjoyed several games, food trucks and live performances at the Playoffs festival. The exciting carnival was held at the Dubai International Stadium on 8 February, 10 February and at the final on 12 February 2023.

The ILT20 came to an end after 34 matches where Gulf Giants defeated Desert Vipers in the final. The tournament was played across the UAE at the exemplary, world-class cricket facilities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

Franchise teams, comprising over 100 International and 24 UAE-based players, included Abu Dhabi Knight Riders (Knight Riders Group), Desert Vipers (Lancer Capital), Dubai Capitals (GMR), Gulf Giants (Adani Sportsline), MI Emirates (Reliance Industries), and Sharjah Warriors (Capri Global).


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