LONDON (Reuters) – Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan became the first overseas player picked for the inaugural ‘The Hundred’ competition next year, but Twenty20 stalwarts Chris Gayle and Lasith Malinga were among notable omissions in Sunday’s draft.
Rashid, the no. 1 Twenty20 bowler, was snared by Trent Rockets for the top price of £125,000.
Australian players dominated the first major player draft in British sport with batting mainstay Steve Smith and quick Mitchell Starc picked up by Welsh Fire for £125,000 each.
“It’s going to be exciting to be in the first ever hundred-ball comp,” Smith told Sky Sports via satellite link.
“I’m looking forward to joining the Welsh Fire, Jonny (Bairstow) and Starcy and the boys there – it looks a good squad that they’ve picked up so far so I’m looking forward to it.”
Team mate David Warner joined Southern Brave who also picked explosive West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell.
Australia’s limited overs captain Aaron Finch joined Northern Superchargers while team mate Glenn Maxwell was snared by London Spirit.
Apart from Rashid, other Afghan spinners in the tournament include Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Superchargers), Mohammad Nabi (Spirit) and Qais Ahmed (Welsh Fire).
West Indies opener Chris Gayle and Sri Lankan quick Malinga entered the draft as two of its most expensive players at £125,000 but neither could find a team.
The eight franchises were keen to recruit the Australian players who will be available for the entire duration of the 100-ball competition scheduled in July-August next year.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Shri Navaratnam)