The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB)-backed ILT20 has made a significant financial move in what is turning into a fierce competition for star T20 players among three rival leagues set to begin to play in January. The league’s top-paid player will reportedly receive a salary of $450,000. After the Indian Premier League, this would make the league, which will be played from January 6 to February 12, the second-highest paid league in the world.

In the IPL, the top player wage is even greater at US$ 2.1 million. The maximum loyalty incentive for this player is US$ 1,10,000, according to ESPN Cricinfo, even though the top salary slot in ILT20 is US$ 3,40,000. Cricket Australia’s Big Bash and Cricket South Africa’s future T20 league are the other leagues vying for the same audience.

Domestic T20 tournaments are being recognized as engines of commercial expansion by cricket boards all over the globe. The two new leagues have caused a tumult in the cricket world, with players being courted by all the top T20 leagues. The Big Bash just upped their game by boosting the overall wage purse per club as well as the worth of their best-coveted player (US$ 2,35,000). Details about the highest-paid player in the CSA competition are still pending.

The amount, however, is little in light of what ILT20 is providing. Furthermore, the Big Bash lasts for a lot longer—nearly two months. One of the reasons a lot of well-known Australian cricketers who were not signed by Big Bash clubs were able to pick the more lucrative leagues is because of this.

The ownership of teams in the ILT20 (Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Delhi Capitals) and the CSA league by IPL owners add to the complexity of the situation (MI, DC, Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Lucknow Super Giants). Big Bash is not yet accessible to private ownership.

The ILT20 demands a far larger pool of foreign players than the Big Bash and CSA tournaments, which cap the number of foreign players in a playing eleven at 3 and 4 players, respectively (each team can have up to 12 overseas players in an 18-man squad). As the UAE doesn’t have a particularly robust cricket infrastructure, its player pool is quite small, therefore just one local player and one player from an Associate country must be included in the starting eleven.