The International League T20 (ILT20), which is underway in the United Arab Emirates, is setting out a new trend in honouring the best players. As we are used to the prevailing fashion of awarding the cricketers with trophies and caps (in the IPL), the ILT20 has come up with an unique style of honouring the cricketers - the Belts.
While the new method has took everyone by surprise, this Belt honour has also sparked comments that it resembles the globally popular WWE belts. Such belts are as close as hand and glove in the WWE ring and now, similar belts have been introduced in a much larger battlefield and have begun to rub shoulders with well-played warriors in the battle.
The belt honour has been an interesting talking point of the ILT20 and what's more interesting is that former Indian cricketer Robin Uthappa has become the first player in the league to win the Green belt. The ILT20 has introduced five sets of belts - the Green Belt, White Belt, Black Belt, Red Belt, and Blue Belt. Each belt serves as an accolade to the players who shine in each department.
The Green Belt is awarded to the player who scores more runs while the player with more wickets would be conferred with the White Belt. The owner of the victorious team will be bestowed with the Black Belt and the Red Belt will be awarded to the Most Valuable Player of the season. The Blue Belt will be conferred to the best of 24 UAE players at the end of the season.
Robin Uthappa is currently playing in the ILT20 and is part of Dubai Capitals. He has scored more runs in the series so far after which he was awarded the Green Belt on Monday. He scored 79 runs off 46 balls against Gulf Giants. The series began on January 14 and Uthappa is currently leading the top run-scorer's chart with 122 runs so far in the tourney.
Uthappa's picture with the Green Belt has been going viral on social media with several users commenting that he appears to have won a wrestling match. ILT20 has six teams - Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, Desert Vipers, Dubai Capitals, Gulf Giants, MI Emirates, and Sharjah Warriors. The franchise owners from the Indian Premier League (IPL), such as Knight Riders Group, Reliance Industries, GMR Group, along with Lancer Capitals and Adani Group were announced as owners of the teams in ILT20.
The league is organized by Emirates Cricket Board and it will be held till February 12. Encouraging the UAE players in the game, the best of the 24 UAE players will be awarded the Blue Belt. Speaking about the unique set of player awards, Mubashshir Usmani, the General Secretary of the Emirates Cricket Board said, "We wanted to come up with something new with regard to the player awards and we are thrilled to introduce various belts, which will add another kind of flavour to the tournament. We anticipate the Belts will be a big hit among the players, something they will strive to receive, and the fans will come to recognise as a symbol of greatness around the globe."
Robin Uthappa with the green belt for the highest run-getter in ILT20. pic.twitter.com/lselxTqp9A— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) January 16, 2023