Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Afridi, three of Pakistan’s best cricketers, are set to be picked in the BBL’s first draft of international cricketers for the 12th season of the Big Bash League. The draft will happen on Saturday, August 28, in Townsville, after the first one-day international between Australia and Zimbabwe.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam led his team to a historic Test victory at Galle in the first Test against Sri Lanka. He is the top-ranked T20I player, and he and Mohammad Rizwan, who is second in the T20I rankings, will both be playing in the tournament. The two experienced batters will be joined in the competition by pace star Shaheen Afridi.
Rashid Khan, Kieron Pollard, and Dwayne Bravo, all of whom have a lot of experience in the format, were already named in the BBL draft. The addition of the Pakistani trio is sure to attract the attention of viewers in the subcontinent.
Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan have both played in the BBL before and are likely to play in this year’s tournament as well. The Daily Telegraph said that the group was also contacted last season, but the talks did not go anywhere.
Rashid Khan, a leg-spinner from Afghanistan who has played for the Adelaide Strikers in 61 games and taken 92 wickets, is almost the first foreign player to take 100 wickets in the tournament. Jason Gillespie, the head coach of Adelaide, has said that they will do whatever it takes to keep him on the team.
Gillespie said, “We will do everything we can to keep the Afghan leg-spinner, who has played 61 games for the club.”
The Melbourne Renegades, who were the worst team in the BBL last year, won the right to pick first in the BBL’s first overseas player draft by getting the first number in the weighted lottery. On August 28, Adam Gilchrist, Michael Hussey, Darren Lehmann, Kath Loughnan, and Mark Howard from Fox Cricket will host the draft.