After a successful first season, the ICC-recognised T10 cricket league is back again with more star power for a second wind.
The likes of Brendon McCullum, Shane Watson, Rashid Khan, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn will make their debut in the 60-ball cricket extravaganza after being picked in the mini-draft in Dubai on Monday.
Kerala Kings, the 2017 champion, retained Eoin Morgan, choosing him as its icon player, while the other first-edition teams chose Rashid Khan (Maratha Arabians), Shahid Afridi (Pakhtoons), Sunil Narine (Bengal Tigers), Shoaib Malik (Punjabi Legends) and Brendon McCullum (Rajputs – earlier Team Sri Lanka) as their icon players.
The 19-year-old Rashid will be joining a group of experienced internationals — James Faulkner, Alex Hales, Dwayne Bravo, Kamran Akmal — at Maratha Arabians.
Northern Warriors and Karachians, the two new franchises, opted for Darren Sammy and Shane Watson respectively as their icon players. Sammy will be in the company of fellow West Indian players, Darren Sammy, Andre Russell and Dwayne Smith. Jofra Archer, who impressed with the Rajasthan Royals in the 2018 IPL, will turn out for the Karachians.
Bengal Tigers has opted for the services of Jason Roy, Sam Billings, Asif Ali and the 17-year-old Afghanistan mystery spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman.
Shaji Ul Mulk, the chairman of the T10 league, said, “The response I can tell you has been exceptional over the year since we launched T10 League. We are very excited about the second season of T10 as it brings cricket to the level of world sports of 90 minutes and fast pace action. For the world, this event is not only unique but also a first of its kind in many respects.”
The teams will meet again for the main draft on September to pick eleven players for the ten-day tournament in December.
The inclusion of two new teams will increase the length of the tournament, from 13 matches over four days to 28 over ten days.