David Warner and Aaron Finch
David Warner and Aaron Finch (Image Credit: Twitter)

The UAE T20 League, which is named the International League T20 (ILT20), has targeted fifteen Australia National Cricket Team players and offered them huge contracts worth up to $700,000 a year to participate in the inaugural edition of the tournament by abandoning the Big Bash League (BBL), as per a report in The Sydney Morning Herald.

The UAE T20 League, which will be a 6-team tournament, is all set to commence next year and it will be a 34-match event as each team will be playing the others twice in the league, followed by four playoff matches.

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The first edition of the tournament was originally scheduled to take place in January and February 2022, but it was rescheduled. The tournament will be played between January 6 to February 12 before the Pakistan Super League.

David Warner and Aaron Finch
Image Source: Twitter

Meanwhile, senior cricket sources had told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald about the Australian players being targeted by the UAE T20 League. Currently, star opener David Warner, who doesn’t have a BBL contract, is expected to play in the UAE T20 League and with big contracts being offered Cricket Australia (CA) might lose some more players.

Notably, CA is in talks with Warner and efforts are being made to get him back into the BBL. Star player Chris Lynn, who lost his contract with Brisbane Heat last year, wants to sign up with an ILT20 franchise. However, he is also in talks with Adelaide Strikers and if he signs up with Strikers he might not be able to participate in UAE T20 League.

The International League T20 (ILT20) is set to become the second highest paying league in the world behind the Indian Premier League (IPL) and this has placed Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association under tremendous pressure to reassure players that they are not being left behind the rest of the world.

I’ve been really heartened by the maturity of the Australian players in response – Todd Greenberg

Todd Greenberg. Photo- Twitter
Todd Greenberg. Photo- Twitter

Australian Cricketers’ Association chief executive Todd Greenberg has said that he has been “really heartened” to see the maturity of the players in response to big contracts offered to them by the UAE T20 League.

“I’ve been really heartened by the maturity of the players in response, because after a discussion and communication and a bit more context, they’re not just thinking about the short-term,” Greenberg told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

“They do have this genuine sense of care about the game – if they didn’t, they would be mercenaries and take what’s in front of them. But they’re not, they’re actually taking a mature, considered approach to this and trying to be part of the solution. This comes down to establishing trust with your own players and the relationships you develop with them.

“Sometimes when you work closely with players, you’ve got to tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. We’re not in the business of being sycophants – occasionally you need to square them up, talk to them as adults, and give them proper information and let them make some informed decisions with a long-term focus.”

Greenberg further said that CA will try to make the best offer to the star batter Warner to try to bring him back into the Big Bash League..

“I do know CA have to stay within the salary cap principles for any player and that includes Dave,” Greenberg said. 

“But clearly they’ve got to try to make the best offer they can to keep him here. It’s a balance of trying to make sure you’re attracting your best players and there’s some equity in the system and the model, so that all of them have the opportunity to play and are remunerated accordingly.

“We understand and appreciate the difficulties in this particular season coming, which is why we’ve worked hard and in partnership with CA to support the concept of an international draft. It’s not perfect, it’s an inexact science. We hope it will attract the best international players, but we have to try something and we’re prepared to try everything in order to grow the BBL both short-term and long-term.”

HOBART, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 14: Tymal Mills of the Scorchers celebrates the wicket of Caleb Jewell of the Hurricanes during the Men's Big Bash League match between the Hobart Hurricanes and the Perth Scorchers at Blundstone Arena, on December 14, 2021, in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images)

Todd Greenberg further said that the ecosystem of cricket is under tremendous pressure and it will only increase with the establishment of new leagues.

“The cricket ecosystem is under increasing stress and pressure and will continue to be so with the advent of new leagues all over the world,” he said.

“This is the big difference between cricket and some of our more domestic sports like the NRL and the AFL who are primarily local sports playing with local challenges and local financial opportunities, as opposed to global cricketers like our players, who have multiple choice and opportunities all over the world to play.

“That’s the big challenge confronting the game, players being offered significant commercial opportunities abroad while players still want to play centrally for their country. This is an issue that’s not going away, which is why we’ve got to work together and grow the revenue for the sport, so we can be competitive.”

Also Read: SLC Claims That Security Concerns And ‘Negative Publicity’ Were Among The Reasons The Asia Cup 2022 Was Shifted

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