Yusuf Pathan becomes first Indian in an overseas T20 league after joining Hong Kong franchise

PTI, Feb, 12 2017

New Delhi: Yusuf Pathan has become the first Indian male cricketer to sign for an overseas franchise-based T20 league and he feels the Hong Kong League in March will be ideal preparation for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL).

File photo of Yusuf Pathan. Reuters

File photo of Yusuf Pathan. Reuters

Pathan thanked the BCCI and Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) for allowing him to play in the league, which is scheduled to be held from 8-12 March.

"I firstly want to thank the BCCI and BCA for giving me the NOC. I am really excited about this venture and I think it will be good preparation for the IPL. That is why I signed for it," Yusuf, who plays for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL, told PTI.

The 34-year-old, who last played for India in 2012, was on Saturday unveiled by Kowloon Cantons for the tournament's second edition. His team has also got on board the likes of Pakistan's Shahid Afridi and England pacer Tymal Mills, who was part of the recent series against India.

Yusuf doesn't know much about the players' line-up but is sure that he can learn a lot from the "short and sweet" experience.

"To be honest, I don't know much about players taking part but I have heard there are some big names involved. I am looking forward to meeting them and get maximum out of the tournament.

"Also, since it is a short tournament, my domestic commitments won't be affected and I will be available for the Vijay Hazare Trophy," he said.

He was last seen in action at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and scored a 35-ball 56 in his last outing against Maharashtra.

Yusuf is known for his big hitting and still holds the record for the fastest fifty in the IPL. He achieved the feat by scoring a 15-ball half century against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2014 edition. He also smashed a 37-ball hundred against Mumbai Indians in 2010.

Having last played for India five years ago, Yusuf has still not lost hope of donning the national colours again.

"I still work hard on my game. It is tough to be motivated all the time but I want to play for India again, for my supporters, for my fans. That is the biggest motivation. Hopefully, I will have a good IPL and after that you never know," he added.

Tim Cutler, chief executive of Cricket Hong Hong, too thanked the BCCI for permitting him to play in the league.

"This is amazing news and we are very appreciative of the BCCI in granting this NOC," he said.

"This will go a long way to help the development of the sport in the region and with even more stars still to be announced this is shaping up to be a superb tournament that will be enjoyed by millions across the world," Cutler added.

Published Date: Feb 12, 2017 | Updated Date: Feb 12, 2017



Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4579 114
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115