IPL draws more players; Yousuf, Smith among latest 11 entrants
Oct 10: The much ambitious endeavor Indian Premier League (IPL), launched by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has roped in eleven more international cricketers to play in the inaugural Twenty20 championship in April next year.
BCCI is signing up some of the hot shots of World cricket to play in the IPL to counter Essel Group’s Indian Cricket League (ICL). The league has done a deal with the likes of current South African Captain Graeme Smith and New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori. South African opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs, Pakistani middle-order batsman Mohammed Yousuf, West Indian batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Sri Lankan pacer Chaminda Vaas were among those who joined the high-status league.
The signing of these eleven vital players takes the list of international cricketers to play in the inaugural league to 22. Former Australian opener Justin Langer, AB de Villiers, Ashwell Prince and Albie Morkel of South Africa, and Scott Styris of New Zealand have already given their consent for IPL.
The prolific Pakistani batsman Yousuf, who earlier signed with ICL, has now changed his mind and joined IPL after a meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Naseem Ashraf, which made him eligible to play for Pakistan again.
Lalit Modi, Chairman and commissioner of IPL said, “We had made a promise to the cricket-loving masses of India for some truly international class high-octane action through the Twenty20 format in the IPL. It is in line with this promise and philosophy that we have signed some of the best cricketing talent on display internationally, including over five players who have captained their respective countries”.
“We are in talks with some very promising talent and should shortly be making some further announcements,” he added.
The IPL had already announced the inclusion of Australians Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, former Kiwi captain Stephen Fleming and eight Sri Lankan players from the current team, including their skipper Mahela Jayawardene and Sanath Jayasuriya.
The IPL is scheduled for an April next year launch and would feature eight franchises in the first season, with each team playing seven home and away games against each other.
The final would be played at the end of April, concluding in a clash of the two best club sides in India. Each franchise would have a squad of 16 players comprising BCCI-registered players drawn from a central contract pool of Indian players.
The IPL team will also include both under-21 players and designated players per team. The designated players could well be contracted from the Indian national team or overseas contracted players.
NEWLY SIGNED PLAYERS: Mohammed Yousuf, Herschelle Gibbs, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Justin Langer, AB De Villiers, Ashwell Prince, Albie Morkel, Scott Styris, Chaminda Vaas, Graeme Smith and Daniel Vettori.
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