The third season of the DP World ILT20  is set to begin on January 11, 2025, and we cannot contain our excitement. We had an excellent time in the second season, managing to qualify for the Playoffs once again. Although we were defeated in Qualifier 1 and Qualifier 2, the season was still memorable with many exciting performances from our players. It was a season to remember, filled with great moments and achievements.

As the new season approaches, it is time to talk about player retention. We would love to keep every player, but we can only retain 13 this time. This means making some tough decisions, but we are ensuring that our core team remains intact. We are excited to see what the new season will bring and are confident that our retained players will continue to perform at their best.

Here is the list of retentions made by Gulf Giants - 

James Vince, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Jordan, Aayan Khan, Zuhaib Zubair, Blessing Muzarabani, Gerhard Erasmus, Jamie Smith, Richard Gleeson, Rehan Ahmed, Jordan Cox, Jamie Overton and Dipendra Singh Airee. 

James Vince was our top scorer in season 2 after finishing second in season 1. He scored 356 runs in 12 games at an average of 29.67. Vince has led the team wonderfully, guiding us to victory in the first season and to the Playoffs in the second. His consistent performance and leadership skills have been invaluable, showing just how important he has been for us in these first couple of seasons.

Shimron Hetmyer is proving to be one of the best batters in this format. As an excellent finisher, he has played some impactful innings for us in both seasons. In season 2, he scored 228 runs and in the first season, he finished with 257 runs at an impressive average of over 42. His ability to score runs quickly and finish games strong makes him a key player for our team.

Chris Jordan is one of the best bowlers in the death overs in this format of the game and has been a key player for us in both seasons. He was the highest wicket-taker in the first season with 20 wickets and the joint-highest wicket-taker for us in the second season with 11 wickets. His ability to bowl in crucial moments and take wickets consistently has been a significant asset to our team.

Our local players, Aayan Khan and Zuhaib Zubair, were standout performers with the ball. Zubair was the joint-highest wicket-taker for us in the second season with 11 wickets, while Aayan Khan took 6 wickets and maintained a very economical bowling rate. Their contributions have been crucial to our bowling attack, particularly in tight situations.

Jamie Overton played some crucial knocks with the bat while also performing well with the ball. He took 10 wickets and scored 108 runs, showing that he is a handy batter and a reliable bowler. Richard Gleeson had a very good season, picking up 5 wickets in 5 games with an exceptional economy rate of 7.15. His ability to control the run flow and take wickets made a significant difference in our matches. Rehan Ahmed missed out on the second season due to international duty, but he is an exceptional spinner, and we are looking forward to seeing him again in season 3.

Jordan Cox and Jamie Smith also had decent performances in season 2. Smith showed his explosiveness with the bat, while Cox demonstrated his ability to play the anchor role in the middle order. Both players are expected to be key contributors in the upcoming season. Dipendra Singh Airee did not play a single game in season 2, but his batting ability is great, and we are looking forward to seeing him perform in season 3.