Sri Lanka Cricket has named 56 foreign players who will play in the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League. There are no India or England players - apart from Azhar Mahmood - among the 56, who were picked by the seven franchises via a draft system in Colombo on Thursday.
Shahid Afridi* was originally supposed to be the icon player for Nagenahira but all the franchises wanted to make sure their icon players were available throughout the tournament. Due to the recently announced Australia-Pakistan series that starts on August 28th, Afridi would potentially miss the semi-finals and finals of the SLPL if his team made it that far, leaving Nagenahira without their icon player at the business end of the tournament. With the agreement of the other franchises, Afridi was released by Naganahira in to the draft, where he was subsequently signed by Ruhuna.
The list is dominated by players from Australia (18) and Pakistan (13). Misbah-ul-Haq, who stepped down as Pakistan`s Twenty20 captain in May and was not picked for the Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka that followed, was picked up by Kandurata in the draft. Mohammad Hafeez, who replaced Misbah as Pakistan Twenty20 captain, was not on the list released by Sri Lanka Cricket.
West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor, who has not featured in top-level cricket since May 2011, was drafted by Ruhuna.
The release made no mention of the salaries that the players will be paid. Sri Lanka`s domestic players will be drafted on Friday.
The franchises` overseas signings
Uthura: Shakib Al Hasan, Brendan Taylor, Kevon Cooper, Imran Farhat, Fidel Edwards, David Miller, Dillon du Preez, Samuel Badree
Nagenahira: Mitchell Marsh, Imran Nazir, Travis Birt, Ahmed Shahzad, Ben Laughlin, Elias Sunny, Musfiqur Rahim, Nasir Hossain
Ruhuna: Shahid Afridi, Daniel Harris, Ryan Harris, Aaron Finch, Jerome Taylor, Nathan McCullum, Ryan McLaren, Richard Levi
Wayamba: Azhar Mahmood, Umar Akmal, Tamim Iqbal, Colin Ingram, Kemar Roach, James Faulkner, Abdul Razzaq, Brad Hogg
Kandurata: Saeed Ajmal, Misbah-ul-Haq, Sohail Tanvir, Chris Lynn, Dane Vilas, Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, Adam Voges
Basnahira: Brad Hodge, Marlon Samuels, Daniel Smith, Dirk Nannes, Robin Peterson, Tim Southee, Clint McKay, Cameron Borgas
Uva: Andrew McDonald, Umar Gul, Shoaib Malik, Callum Ferguson, James Franklin, Abdur Rehman, Hammad Azam, Chris Gayle