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Afridi, Russell among icon players; dozen Pakistan players picked in T10 League draft
T10 League

Afridi, Russell among icon players; dozen Pakistan players picked in T10 League draft

Shahid Afridi, Chris Gayle, Andre Russell and Shoaib Malik feature among the icon players for the fourth season of T10 League as a plethora of high-profile cricketers have been drafted into star-studded squads of the eight participating teams.

Pakistani cricketers were the most popular picks in the players draft held on Wednesday with Qalandars including seven players from the country in their line-up.

Icon pick Afridi will be joined by compatriots Sohail Tanvir, Asif Ali, Hasan Ali, Sharjeel Khan, Sohail Akhtar and Maaz Khan to make up a formidable unit.

Elsewhere, the veteran duo of Mohammad Hafeez and Malik have been paired up for defending champions Maratha Arabians.

Young power-hitting sensation Azam Khan will turn out for Deccan Gladiators, after representing Quetta Gladiators and Galle Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League and Lanka Premier League respectively. Mohammad Amir, who recently announced his international retirement, will play for the rebranded Pune Devils whereas senior left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz is part of the Northern Warriors outfit.

Most teams have opted for a comprehensive overhaul of their squads compared to the last edition of the tournament that took place in November 2019.

Over 600 players were available in the players' draft and were divided into five categories based on the players' T20 reputation and experience.

Sides were observed to be banking on batting firepower upfront in their choices for the players. Team Abu Dhabi feature the explosive opening duo of Gayle and Alex Hales followed by the likes of Avishka Fernando and Luke Wright promising fireworks with the bat.

Qalandars could potentially see Tom Banton open with Sharjeel and Ben Dunk, Asif Ali and Afridi wreak havoc in the middle-order for them.

49-year-old Pravin Tambe went to Maratha Arabians, defying all perceptions of the format being a game suited for youngsters. Tambe was part of the invincible Trinbago Knight Riders in this year's Caribbean Premier League as they remained unbeaten throughout the competition to lift their fourth title.

The T10 League will be staged in Abu Dhabi for the second time in its short history and will run for a little more than a week from January 28 to February 6.

Squads

Team Abu Dhabi: Chris Gayle (icon), Rohan Mustafa, Luke Wright, Avishka Fernando, Hayden Walsh Jr, Chris Morris, Usman Shinwari, Naveen-ul-Haq, Obed McCoy, Najibullah Zadran, Ben Cox, Palaniapan Meiyappan, Leonardo Julien, Kushal Malla, Alex Hales

Maratha Arabians: Shoaib Malik (icon, capt), Mohammad Hafeez, Laurie Evans, Mosaddek Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Pravin Tambe, Ishan Malhotra, Muktar Ali, Amjad Khan, Abdul Shakoor, Maroof Merchant, Sompal Kami, Syed Nasar Shah

Bangla Tigers: Isuru Udana (icon), Andre Fletcher, Tom Moores, Qais Ahmad, Chirag Suri, Johnson Charles, David Wiese, Mohammad Irfan, Afif Hossain, Adam Hose, Karim Janat, Aryan Lakra, Fazal Haque, Noor Ahmad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mahedi Hasan

Deccan Gladiators: Sunil Narine (icon), Kieron Pollard (capt), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Zahoor Khan, Colin Ingram, Mohammad Shahzad, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Azam Khan, Ravi Rampaul, Prashant Gupta, Zeeshan Zameer, Hamdan Tahir, Hafeez-ur-Rehman, Imran Tahir, Imtiyaz Ahmed

Qalandars: Shahid Afridi (icon), Samit Patel, Phil Salt, Chris Jordan, Sultan Ahmed, Tom Banton, Sohail Tanvir, Asif Ali, Hasan Ali, Sohail Akhtar, Sharjeel Khan, Fayyaz Ahmed, Azmatullah Omarzai, Maaz Khan, Khurshid Anwar, Ben Dunk

Delhi Bulls: Dwayne Bravo (icon, capt), Ali Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Dushmantha Chameera, Sherfane Rutherford, Evin Lewis, Dasun Shanaka, Adam Lyth, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Fidel Edwards, Shiraz Ahmed, Kashif Daud, Waqar Salamkheil, Nyeem Young, Amad Butt

Northern Warriors: Andre Russell (icon), Rayad Emrit, Nicholas Pooran, Lendl Simmons, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Siddique, Rovman Powell, Fabian Allen, Nuwan Pradeep, Aamer Yamin, Brandon King, Waheed Ahmed, Maheesh Theekshana, Ansh Tandon, Waseem Muhammad, Sujeet Parbatani

Pune Devils: Thisara Perera (icon), Mohammad Amir, Hardus Viljoen, Chamara Kapugedera, Sam Billings, Ajantha Mendis, Devon Thomas, Darwish Rasooli, Nasir Hossain, Kennar Lewis, Asif Khan, Mohammad Boota, Dinesh Kumar, Vriitya Aravind, Karan KC, Munis Ansari