The player draft for the much-awaited Global T20 Canada 2023 was held in a hybrid-form on Tuesday in Mumbai with representatives from each franchise joining from different parts of the globe.
The league stage of the third edition of Global T20 is scheduled to begin on 20th July in Brampton, Canada and the cricket extravaganza will see 6 franchises play 25 matches over the course of 18 days.
Building up the excitement ahead of an action-packed season this year, the player draft with franchise salary-cap of USD 579,500 revealed a star-studded line-up of marquee players.
Test and T20 Skipper of Bangladesh national team Shakib Al Hasan along with superstar Caribbean all-rounder Andre Russell and Chris Lynn of Australia will turn up for Montreal Tigers.
Among India's most successful spinners Harbhajan Singh will headline for Brampton Wolves this season along with New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme, as per the release.
Toronto Nationals will feature legendary all-rounder Shahid Afridi, who was the at heart of Pakistan's sole T20 World title, along with New Zealand's most reliable big hitter Colin Munro while newcomers Mississauga Panthers will feature the explosive Shoaib Malik and universally acclaimed West Indian cricketing icon Chris Gayle.
Another new entrant this year -- Surrey Jaguars will have hard-hitting right-handed opener for Nottinghamshire Alex Hales along with Pakistan's top-order batsman Iftikhar Ahamed while Vancouver Knights have named Pakistan's wicket-keeper batsman Mohammed Rizwan and Pretoria's swashbuckling batter and right-arm leg spinner Rassie van der Dussen as their marquee picks for this edition.
Each squad consists of 16 players from Full and ICC Associate Member Nations. These squads include six international players including two marquee stars, four players from Associate Nations and six Canadians. The tournament also revealed Head Coaches of each franchise who were part of the player draft on Tuesday.
While the legendary Dav Watmore, in his capacity as head coach, brought his expertise to the fore as he drafted the players into Montreal Tigers, Shane Bond worked the math to select the Brampton Wolves squad. Aaqib Javed, head coach of Toronto Nationals, joined the proceedings while Hassan Mirza, CEO for Mississauga Panthers, represented his team in the draft on behalf of their head coach Lance Klusener. Head Coaches Lalchand Rajput for Surrey Jaguars and Donovan Miller of Vancouver Knights were also part of the draft.
Following the announcement of the marquee players, the player draft to pick the full squad for each franchise began with Full Member Nation round. Held in 6 rounds where each round had its own reserve price starting from $70,000 going down to $8,500 for Canadian U-19 cricketers, the draft witnessed some anxious moments with franchises making their picks backed by solid home work.
"The previous two editions of the GT20 received great appreciation from players and fans across the globe and we believe the third edition will be bigger and bolder this time around. We have a fantastic line-up of globally-acclaimed cricketers as well as some very exciting new talent come to the fore this season," stated Richard Berridge, CEO of Global T20.
"The tournament, in the past, has witnessed many special performances from players drawn from various ICC Member and Associate Member Nations such as Pakistan, South Africa, India, West Indies, England, Bangladesh among others bringing global audience together to catch their favourite stars perform. This edition too promises to produce thrilling contest, bringing edge-of-the-seat action to millions of global fans," Berridge added.
The previous editions have seen stalwarts of the game featured as marquee players, including the likes of Chris Gayle, Yuvraj Singh, Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Brendon McCullum.
Brampton Wolves: Harbhajan Singh, Colin De Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Mark Sinclair Chapman, Usama Mir, Hussain Talat, Usman Khan, Logan Van Beek, Jan Nicolaas Frylinck, Max O Dowd, Jeremy Gordon, Aaron Johnson, Rizwan Cheema, Shahid Ahamdzai, Rishiv Joshi, Gurpal Singh Sandhu
Montreal Tigers: Andre Russel/ Shakib Al Hassan, Chris Lynn, Sherfane Rutherford, Carlos Brathwaite, Muhammad Abbas Afridi, Zahir Khan, Muhammad Waseem, Akif Raja, Aayan Khan, Dipendra Airee, Kaleem Sana, Srimantha Wijeratne, Matthew Spoors, Bupendra Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Anoop Chima
Mississauga Panthers: Shoaib Malik, Chris Gayle, Azam Khan, James Neesham, Cameron Scott Delport, Shahnawaz Dahani, Zahoor Khan, Tom Cooper, Cecil Pervez, Jaskarandeep Singh Buttar, Navneet Dhaliwal, Nikhil Dutta, Shreyas Movva, Praveen Kumar, Mihir Patel, Eathan Gibson
Surrey Jaguars: Alex Hales, Iftikhar Ahmed, Jason Behrendorff, Litton Kumar Das, Karim Janat, Mohammad Haris, Sandeep Lamichhane, Ayaan Khan, Jatinder Singh, Bernard Scholtz, Paragat Singh, Dilon Heyliger, Ammar Khalid, Sunny Matharu, Sheel Patel, Kairav Sharma
Toronto Nationals: Colin Munro, Shahid Afridi, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Zaman Khan, Saim Ayub, Abdullah Shafique, Hamza Tariq, Gerhard Erasmus, Johannes Jonathan Smit, Farhan Malik, Saad Bin Zafar, Nicholas Kirton, Armaan Kapoor, Sarmad Anwar, Rommel Shahzad, Udhaya Bhagwan
Vancouver Knights: Mohammad Rizwan, Rassie Van Der Dussen, Naveen Ul Haq, Reeza Raphael Hendricks, Corbin Bosch, Najibullah Zadran, Junaid Siddiqui, Vriitya Aravind, Karthik Meiyappan, Ruben Trumplemann, Ravinderpal Singh, Harsh Thaker, Rayyan Pathan, Nawab Singh, Muhammad Kamal, Kanwar Tathgur.