Yusuf Pathan has become the first Indian male cricketer to sign for an overseas franchise-based T20 league and he feels the Hong Kong League in March will be ideal preparation for the upcoming Indian Premier League.
Pathan thanked the BCCI and Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) for allowing him to play in the league, which is scheduled to be held from March 8-12.
"I firstly want to thank the BCCI and BCA for giving me the NOC. I am really excited about this venture and I think it will be good preparation for the IPL. That is why I signed for it," Yusuf, who plays for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.
The 34-year-old, who last played for India in 2012, was unveiled by Kowloon Cantons for the tournament's second edition. His team has also got on board the likes of Pakistan's Shahid Afridi and England pacer Tymal Mills, who was part of the recent series against India.
Yusuf doesn't know much about the players' line-up but is sure that he can learn a lot from the ‘short and sweet’ experience.
"To be honest, I don't know much about players taking part but I have heard there are some big names involved. I am looking forward to meeting them and get maximum out of the tournament.
"Also, since it is a short tournament, my domestic commitments won't be affected and I will be available for the Vijay Hazare Trophy," he said.
Yusuf is known for his big hitting and still holds the record for the fastest fifty in the IPL. He achieved the feat by scoring a 15-ball half century against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2014 edition. He also smashed a 37-ball hundred against Mumbai Indians in 2010.
Tim Cutler, chief executive of Cricket Hong Hong, too thanked the BCCI for permitting him to play in the league.