Chris Gayle, Lasith Malinga, Morne Morkel and Rashid Khan are some of the big names of world cricket who will feature in the second edition of the T10League to be played in Sharjah from November 23 to December 2.
Eight teams have formed some of the best combinations from a pool of 64 top cricketers in the players' draft for T10League -- the limited ten-over format cricket -- that will be played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Kerala Kings, Punjab Legends, Maratha Arabians, Bengal Tigers, The Karachians, Rajputs, Northern Warriors and Pakhtoons - have been drawn in to two groups to fight it out.
This year, two teams -- The Karachians and Northern Warriors -- have been added to the list of the earlier six teams. This will expand the support and fan base of the T10League.
This year's players' draft featured a number of Afghan players who displayed exceptional skills in international cricket after gaining Test status.
Last year's champions Kerala Kings have picked up top draw Chris Gale, Junaid Khan, Sandeep Lamichhane, Tom Curran, Fabian Allen, Niroshan Dickwella, Benny Howell, as well as Imran Nazir, whoo will be making a strong come back after being on the sideline for a while.
Players such as Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Luke Ronchi, Muhammad Sami, Zahir Khan, Umar Akmal, Mitchell McClenaghan, Tom Moores, Anwar Ali, Jade Dernbach and Hassan Khan have been selected by last year's runner-up team Punjabi Legends.
Bengal Tigers have picked up Morne Morkel, Aamir Yamin, Mohammed Nabi, Kusal Perera, Sherfane Rutherford, Kevon Cooper, Dan Christian, Ali Khan and Rayad Emrit from the draft while Jason Roy, Sam Billings, Asif Ali have previously been selected by the team.
Maratha Arabians, led by the Afghan sensation Rashid Khan, have picked up Alex Hales, Kamran Akmal, James Faulkner, Lasith Malinga, James Vince, Liam Livingstone, Brendan Taylor, Adam Lyth, Roelof Van Der Merwe, NajibullahZadran and Richard Gleeson.
Pakhtoon team picked up Liam Dawson, Mohammed Irfan, David Willy, Colin Munroe, Andre Fletcher, Sohail Khan, Sharfuddin Ashraf, Chadwick Walton, Shahpur Zadran, Cameron Delport and Gulbadin Naib while team Rajputs chose Mohammed Hafeez, Rilee Rossouw, Mohammed Shahzad, Tymal Mills, Carlos Brathwaite, Rahat Ali, Samit Patel, Qais Ahmad, Ben Dunks, Peter Trego and Shan Masood.
Among the newcomers, the Karachians picked up Jofra Archer, Thisara Perera, Ben Cutting, Muhammad Nawaz, David Malan, Fawad Ahmed, Isuru Udana, Joe Clarke, Samiullah Shenwari and Muhammed Irfan Jr.
Another newcomer, Northern Warriors chose Ravi Bopara, Rovman Powell, Harry Gurney, Chris Green, Obed McCoy, Lendl Simmons, Kharry Pierre and Kennar Lewis from the draft to be added to Dwayne Smith and Nicholas Pooran.
T10 League, the world's first 10-over international professional cricket league that has been sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC), was born in the UAE in 2017.
Welcoming the pool of international cricketers, Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk, Chairman of the T10 League, said, "The players' draft has been an out and out success, with a wider participation of players from all over the world. In addition to the reputed senior star cricketers, the draft also witnessed bids for some of the most sought after young players.
"The participation of cricketing legends Wasim Akram, Shahid Afridi, Herschelle Gibbs, Darren Sammy, Daniel Vettori, Stephen Fleming, Robin Singh and Dean Jones were added attraction that reflects the growing popularity and acceptance of the 10-over format cricket."
The T10 League was launched last year by T10 Sports Management to popularise the game of cricket in its shortest format - that concludes within less than 90 minutes.