MELBOURNE: Australia’s Big Bash League has unveiled 12 marquee players for the first round of Sunday’s draft, including 10 who are likely to exit the tournament before the halfway stage to play in other Twenty20 leagues that will run concurrently in January.
Big-hitting Andre Russell joined fellow West Indians Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo in the list of “Platinum” players up for grabs in the first round of the overseas draft, the league organisers announced on Monday.
Trent Boult, who recently surrendered his central contract with New Zealand Cricket prioritising Twenty20 leagues, is among the top players who will reportedly be paid A$340,000 ($234,566.00) each, no matter how many matches they play.
The list includes five Englishmen, among them Jason Roy and Liam Livingstone, star Afghan spinner Rashid Khan and Pakistan’s Shadab Khan.
The eight-team league, which runs from Dec. 13 to Feb. 4, will vie for eyeballs with two new Twenty20 competitions in the United Arab Emirates and South Africa, both beginning in January.
Big Bash will also likely bid goodbye to 10 of these 12 “Platinum” players in late December as they have also signed up for one of the other two new leagues.
Struggling to retain its position in a crowded Twenty20 marketplace, Big Bash pulled off a major coup on Sunday when David Warner confirmed his first appearance in 10 seasons. His Australia team mate Glenn Maxwell had no doubt it was a major boost for the eight-team league.
“We know any time we can get those guys back playing, that makes a better product and makes it a better spectacle for everyone,” the all-rounder told reporters.
“It’s someone all the crowd knows and they can get behind and Davey’s a superstar of the T20 format and someone that everyone loves watching.” “Hopefully (the draft) will reinvigorate a bit of life into it,” Maxwell added.