Dubai: Chris Gayle, Zaheer Khan, Lasith Malinga, Morne Morkel and Rashid Khan are some of the big names of world cricket that will feature in the second edition of the T10 League to be played in Sharjah from 23 November to 2 December.
Eight teams have formed some of the best combinations from a pool of 64 top cricketers in the players' draft for T10 League – the limited ten-over format cricket – that will be played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Eight teams – Kerala Kings, Punjab Legends, Maratha Arabians, Bengal Tigers, The Karachians, Rajputs, Northern Warriors and Pakhtoons – have been drawn in to two groups to fight it out.
This year, two teams –The Karachians and Northern Warriors – have been added to the list of the earlier six teams. This will expand the support and fan base of the T10 League, a tournament recognised by the ICC.
This year's players' draft featured a number of Afghan players who displayed exceptional skills in international cricket after gaining Test status.
Last year's champions Kerala Kings have picked up top draw Chris Gale, Junaid Khan, Sandeep Lamichhane, Tom Curran, Fabian Allen, Niroshan Dickwella, Benny Howell, as well as Imran Nazir, who will be making a strong come back after being on the sideline for a while.
Players such as Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Luke Ronchi, Mohammad Sami, Zaheer Khan, Umar Akmal, Mitchell McClenaghan, Tom Moores, Anwar Ali, Jade Dernbach and Hassan Khan have been selected by last year's runner-up team Punjabi Legends.
Bengal Tigers have picked up Morne Morkel, Aamir Yamin, Mohammed Nabi, KusalPerera, Sherfane Rutherford, Kevon Cooper, Dan Christian, Ali Khan and Rayad Emrit from the draft while Jason Roy, Sam Billings, Asif Ali have previously been selected by the team.
Maratha Arabians, led by the Afghan sensation Rashid Khan, have picked up Alex Hales, Kamran Akmal, James Faulkner, Lasith Malinga, James Vince, Liam Livingstone, Brendan Taylor, Adam Lyth, Roelof Van Der Merwe, NajibullahZadran and Richard Gleeson.
Pakhtoon team picked up Liam Dawson, Mohammed Irfan, David Willy, Colin Munroe, Andre Fletcher, Sohail Khan, Sharfuddin Ashraf, Chadwick Walton, Shahpur Zadran, Cameron Delport and Gulbadin Naib while team Rajputs chose Mohammed Hafeez, Rilee Rossouw, Mohammed Shahzad, Tymal Mills, Carlos Brathwaite, Rahat Ali, Samit Patel, Qais Ahmad, Ben Dunks, Peter Trego and Shan Masood.
Among the newcomers, the Karachians picked up Jofra Archer, Thisara Perera, Ben Cutting, Muhammad Nawaz, David Malan, Fawad Ahmed, Isuru Udana, Joe Clarke, Samiullah Shenwari and Muhammed Irfan Jr.
Another newcomer, Northern Warriors chose Ravi Bopara, Rovman Powell, Harry Gurney, Chris Green, Obed McCoy, Lendl Simmons, Kharry Pierre and Kennar Lewis from the draft to be added to Dwayne Smith and Nicholas Pooran.
T10 League, the world's first 10-over international professional cricket league that has been sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC), was born in the UAE in 2017.