Eight Pakistan players including Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Mohammad Amir have been picked in the online Lankan Premier League draft on Monday.
The likes of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Faf du Plessis and David Miller have also been selected by the five franchises for the inaugural edition of the tournament, which is set to begin on November 21.
The draft was originally supposed to be held on October 1 but was pushed eight days ahead before experiencing another delay owing to the recent surge of coronavirus cases in Sri Lanka.
The team names and logos were revealed during the draft with Jaffna Stallions, Galle Gladiators, Dambulla Hawks, Colombo Kings and Kandy Tuskers unveiled as the five participating sides in the lucrative competition.
Galle Gladiators, owned by Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Quetta Gladiators, hosts the most number of Pakistan cricketers with Afridi, Amir, Sarfaraz and young talent Azam Khan included in the team. Afridi, who quit international cricket for Pakistan in 2016, was announced as the marquee signing for LPL's Gladiators last month.
Galle will be coached by former Pakistan captain Moin Khan and legendary swing bowler Wasim Akram will serve as the team mentor.
Meanwhile, Jaffna Stallions harbours the presence of Malik, Usman Shinwari and Asif Ali. Veteran paceman Wahab Riaz is the other Pakistani in the mix and features in Kandy Tuskers, which has Gayle, Liam Plunkett and Naveen-ul-Haq as the remaining foreign recruits.
The local icon players for each side are Thisara Perera (Jaffna Stallions), Lasith Malinga (Galle Gladiators), Dasun Shanaka (Dambulla Hawks), Angelo Mathews (Colombo Kings) and Kusal Perera (Kandy Tuskers).
Dambulla have beefed up their batting resources with David Miller, Paul Stirling and all-round duo Carlos Brathwaite and Samit Patel in their line-up.
Since every side is allowed a total of 20 players in its squad, a few more foreign stars are expected to be added before November 1.
The full squads after the draft are as follows:
Thisara Perera, Dawid Malan, Wanindu Hasaranga, Shoaib Malik, Usman Shinwari, Avishka Fernando, Dhananjaya de Silva, Suranga Lakmal, Binura Fernando, Asif Ali, Minod Bhanuka, Chaturanga de Silva, Mahesh Theekshana, Charith Asalanka, Nuvinidu Fernando, Kanagaratnam Kapilraj, Theivendiram Dinoshan, Yiyakanth Yiyaskanth
Lasith Malinga, Shahid Afridi, Colin Ingram, Mohammad Amir, Hazratullah Zazai, Danushka Gunathilaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Akila Dananjaya, Milinda Siriwardana, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Azam Khan, Lakshan Sandakan, Shehan Jayasuriya, Asitha Fernando, Nuwan Thushara, Mohamed Shiraz, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Chanaka Ruwansiri, Sahan Arachchi
Dasun Shanaka, David Miller, Carlos Brathwaite, Samit Patel, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Lahiru Kumara, Oshada Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Paul Stirling, Lahiru Madushanka, Upul Tharanga, Angelo Perera, Ramesh Mendis, Pulina Tharanga, Ashen Bandara, Dilshan Madushanka, Sachindu Colombage
Andre Russell, Faf du Plessis, Angelo Mathews, Manpreet Singh Gony, Manvinder Bisla, Isuru Udana, Dinesh Chandimal, Amila Aponso, Ravinderpal Singh, Ashan Priyanjan, Dushmantha Chameera, Jeffrey Vandersay, Thikshila de Silva, Tharindu Kaushal, Lahiru Udara, Himesh Ramanayake, Kalana Perera, Tharindu Rathnayaka, Navod Paranavithana
Chris Gayle, Kusal Perera, Liam Plunkett, Wahab Riaz, Kusal Mendis, Nuwan Pradeep, Seekkuge Prasanna, Asela Gunaratne, Naveen-Ul-Haq, Kamindu Mendis, Dilruwan Perera, Priyamal Perera, Kavishka Anjula, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Samarakoon, Nishan Fernando, Chamika Edirisinghe, Ishan Jayaratne