PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Andre Russell of the Thunder prepares to bowl during the Big Bash League match between the Perth Scorchers and Sydney Thunder at WACA on January 1, 2017 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

The UAE's new 20-over league, the ILT20, will begin its inaugural season on January 13 with a match between the Dubai Capitals and the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, with the final set for February 12.

The league is designed to play 34 games, 30 in the regular season, and four finals games; the top four teams make the deciding stage.

The six teams, including the Desert Vipers, Gulf Giants, MI Emirates and Sharjah Warriors, will all play each other twice.

Five doubleheaders have been scheduled on weekends throughout the competition, with the first game of each being at 2 PM local time, while the solo games will start at 6 PM.

This timing means the January period will see T20 cricket being played all over the world as the South African league, SA20, will also be debuting from January 10, and established leagues like our Australian BBL and the Pakistani PSL will also be underway.

Despite the competition for big names, the ITL20 boasts the likes of Tren Boult, Andre Russell, Moeen Ali, Wanindu Hasaranga, Alex Hales and Kieron Pollard, amongst others and is sure to garner some excitement.

Contracts at the top end of the tournament are expected to be worth around US $450 000 per season, making it the second most lucrative league in the world for players, behind only the IPL.