Star Names Headlined the Afghanistan Premier League Player Auction
The player draft for the first ever Afghanistan Premier League was held on Monday, September 10th 2018, that saw some big-ticket names bought by different franchisees amongst the five participating teams.
The headline of the evening involved big global guns, including Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Shahid Afridi, Andre Russell, Afghan sensation Rashid Khan, and more who have proved their mettle in their respective country uniforms across the different formats, as well as other popular T20 leagues like IPL, Big Bas and more.
Rashid Khan was the biggest signing for Kabul, while the powerhouse Gayle was snapped by Balkh. The blazing masterclass McCullum went to Kandahar, Boom Boom Afridi was bought by Paktia, and Andre Russell by Nangarhar.
The tournament is slated to take place in Sharjah from October 5, 2018 to October 21, 2018. With these signings, Afghanistan Cricket Board, as well as the franchisees are hoping to put up a grand show and attract spectators and viewers from around the globe. Other Afghan popular names to be picked by the teams are Mohammad Nabi (Balkh), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Nangarhar), Mohammad Shahzad (Paktia), and Asghar Afghan (Kandahar).
Alongside these 5, other players who were named in the draft picks are (including 34 overseas):
England – Sam Billings, Ravi Bopara, Luke Wright, Chris Jordan, Tymal Mils, Laurie Evans
Australia – Ben Laughlin, Ben Cutting
New Zealand – Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell McClenaghan
South Africa – Wayne Parnell, Colin Ingram, Cameron Delport
Pakistan –Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, SohailTanveer, WahabRiaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Irfan, Iftikhar Ahmed
Bangladesh – Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal
Sri Lanka – ThisaraPerera
Ireland – Paul Sterling
The associate nations also found takers for their popular cricketers, including Sandeep Lamichhane from Nepal, Ryan Ten Doeschate from the Netherlands, amongst more.
After the auction, Afghan star Rashid Khan told Khaleej Times, "It is an honor to play in your own league. Now is the time for youngsters from Afghanistan to come forward and show their ability. It will be an opportunity for them to share the dressing room and also rub shoulders with the likes of Shahid Afridi, Chris Gayle and others.”
He also added, "If you see the BPL, IPL and Big Bash, these leagues helped their countries do well. They got a lot of youngsters from those leagues. So we are hoping it does the same for the Afghanistan youngsters.”