ILT20 2024 – Season Outright Tips and Betting Preview

Another T20 league campaign gets underway on Friday when the second season of the ILT20 begins out in the UAE as the six franchises once again battle it out for what is a pretty lucrative title for a relatively new competition.

The Gulf Giants took the riches with come with winning the competition last year and they will go into this season hoping to remain the only team to have had their hands on this title. The other five will look to dethrone them.

Recent Winners

2023 – Gulf Giants

The Format

The six teams play each other twice in the round robin format of the tournament and at the end of that stage we lose the bottom two sides in the standings. The top four move into the playoffs with the top two sides meeting for a direct place into the final. Third and fourth take each other on in a knockout match with the winner of that facing the loser of the other game for a spot in the final against the team who won the first playoff game. 34 matches in total with all the action live and exclusive on TNT Sport in the UK. The only difference from last season to this one is the introduction of a substitute in a parallel with the impact player that was in the IPL.

The Teams

MI Emirates would have been expected to win the competition last season but they could only finish third in the table and then bombed out in Qualifier 2. They are 7/2 to go a couple of steps better this season but they are going to have to overcome the loss of their captain from last season in Kieron Pollard, who happened to be their leading run scorer last term. They have added some power to their batting down the order though and signed a couple of useful spinners so I understand why they are the favourites.

The defending champions Gulf Giants are 4/1 to keep hold of their title. They were clearly the best side in the competition last term. They lose just one match in the regular season and then won the second qualifier for the final and then came out on top in the final. They are going to need to overcome the loss of some key players such as David Wiese, Liam Dawson and Rehan Ahmed. They have signed a couple of useful spinners but if they don’t prove to be wicket takers you wonder if the Giants will have what it takes to defend the title.

The Sharjah Warriors missed out on the playoffs completely last season so they will be motivated to go better this time around. They are 4/1 to win the title and having failed last season they kept very few members of their squad and have rebuilt their roster with a bunch of spinners which you would imagine is the right way to do things. They have a couple of powerful hitters down the order recruited and two free scoring openers so I expect a much better campaign from them but whether that is a title winning one I’m less convinced.

The Abu Dhabi Knight Riders were terrible last season. They won one match all term and were pretty much done for before the competition had warmed up. It will be almost impossible for them not to be better this season but whether that translates into winning the title remains to be seen. They are 4/1 to win the competition this season. As you would expect there have been a number of personnel changes between the two campaigns and if the English invasion works for them they might get into the playoffs. I’m not sure they win the title though.

The Desert Vipers were the beaten finalists last season and they are 5/1 to go one better this time around. They have kept a large part of their squad but they have lost their second highest run scorer from last season in Sam Billings but they have kept all their better wicket takers and added Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shadab Khan and Bas de Leede who will take wickets while Azam Khan and Adam Hose have good records around the world. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see an improved Vipers side this term.

The outsiders of the six are the Dubai Capitals. They were the last team into the playoffs last season but it probably says everything about what they thought of the campaign that they have only kept five players from that competition in their squad, and one of those in Joe Root won’t be seen this term. The additions of Dave Warner and Sam Billings are good ones but Mark Wood will be away with England all season and there isn’t really a quality wrist spinner in the ranks. I think the Capitals are right to be the 6/1 outsiders.

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I like the Desert Vipers this season. They weren’t far away from winning the title last season and so the addition of Shaheen Shah Afridi when he arrives after international duty is going to be huge for them. The Vipers have plenty of power in their batting, which they have added to this term. It isn’t just that they have power in their batting but they have powerful players who have been competing recently with a number of them coming in from the Big Bash.

Despite all the power they have, I always think that bowlers win these things and a bowling unit that has the likes of Afridi, Shadab Khan, Sheldon Cottrell, Luke Wood, Matheesha Pathirana, Tom Curran and Wanindu Hasaranga is going to be hard to deny. The fact that three of them can genuinely bat as well will ensure there is plenty of batting depth in this team so with plenty of batting, new ball wickets, two dangerous spinners and no shortage of death options I think the 5/1 on the Vipers is too big.

Top Batter

Bet365 have priced up a top batter market for the season and the 10/1 on James Vince catches my eye here. He is a class act in T20 cricket and he was the second highest scoring player in this tournament last year even though he had an innings less than the winner Alex Hales. He only finished 30 runs behind his England compatriot so on level innings he could well have nailed Hales on the line but I’m not convinced Hales arrives in spectacular form this time around.

Three of the top six last season were West Indies players with Kieron Pollard one of them but he isn’t here this time around while Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell will be heading to Australia halfway through the competition. There are other batters coming into the competition but the Pakistan and Sri Lanka ones will miss a game or two because of international duty. England only have Test action during this competition and Vince won’t be in that side so he looks a good bet to me. He opens the batting, scores big at the top and is composed and classy. He’s my top batter interest.

Top Bowler

Chris Jordan was the leading wicket taker in the competition last season and having not been included in the T20 squad for the England tour of the West Indies last month he will be eager to go well here and show that he should still be considered for selection when the World Cup comes along later in the year. He has gone fairly well in the Big Bash recently and I think there is enough juice in him at 16/1 to merit backing to be the leading bowler again this term.

We have to remember that West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are all involved in international series during the course of this competition so their players are going to lose opportunities which Jordan certainly won’t. Unless he gets injured, Jordan is here for the whole season and he bowls well in this part of the world. His slower balls have good effect and the bigger grounds allow him to pitch the ball up. Importantly, he bowls in all of the key parts of the innings and just looks too big at the prices.


Back Desert Vipers to win ILT20 2024 for a 2/10 stake at 6.00 with William Hill

Back them here:

Back J.Vince Top Tournament Batter (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 11.00 with Bet365 (1/4 1-4)

Back C.Jordan Top Tournament Bowler (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 17.00 with Bet365 (1/4 1-4)