Veterans cricketers like Eoin Morgan, Robin Uthappa, Mohamed Hafeez, Parthiv Patel, Irfan Pathan along with present stars like Taskin Ahmed, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Bhanuka Rajapaksa will be among the top players who will land in Harare for the inaugural edition of the Zim Afro T10, scheduled to be held from July 20.
All these players were among the 75 players picked in the Players’ Auction conducted on Monday as the five squads for the tournament was finalised.
The grand final of the tournament is scheduled for July 29, with all the games to be held in Harare.
The five teams in the tournament are: Durban Qalandars, CapeTown Samp Army, Harare Hurricanes, Bulawayo Braves and Johannesburg Buffaloes.
The Durban Qalandars have a squad of 15 players and drafted in the likes of Asif Ali, Mohammed Amir, George Linde, Hazratullah Zazai, Tim Sifert, Sisanda Magala, Hilton Cartwright, Mirza Thahir Baig, Tayab Abbas, Craig Ervin, Tendai Chatara, Brad Evans, Clive Madande, Nick Welch, and Andre Fleture.
The CapeTown Samp Army have 17 players, with stars such as Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Shaun Williams, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Maheesh Theekshana, Sheldon Cottrel, Karim Janat, Chamika Karunaratne, Peter Hazlogou, Matthew Breetzke, Richard Ngarava, Zhuwao Cephas, Hamilton Masakadza, Tadshwani Marumani, Tinashe Kamunakewe, Parthiv Patel, Mohamed Irfan, and Stuart Binny.
The Harare Hurricanes also have 17 players in their camp, with star players like England’s ODI World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan, Mohamed Nabi, Evin Lewis, Robin Uthappa, Donovon Ferraira, Shahzawaz Dahani, Duan Jansen, Samit Patel, Kevin Kothegoda, Christopher Mpofu, Regis Chakabva, Luke Jonwe, Brandon Mavuta, Tashinga Mushiwa, Irfan Pathan, Khalid Shah, and S Sreesanth.
The Bulawayo Braves have a squad of 15 players and have signed on Sikander Raza, Taskin Ahmed, Ashton Turner, Tymal Mills, Thisara Perera, Ben McDermott, Beau Webster, Patrick Dooley, Kobe Herft, Rayen Burl, Timycen Maruma, Joylord Gumbie, Innocent Kaia, Faraz Akram and Mujeeb Ur Rehaman.
The Johannesburg Buffaloes are the only team with a squad of 16 players with stars like Mushfiqur Rahim, Odean Smith, Tom Banton, Yusuf Pathan, Will Smeed, Noor Ahmad, Ravi Bopara, Usman Shinwari, Junior Dala, Blessing Muzarabani, Wellington Masakadza, Wesley Madhevere, Victor Nyauchi, Milton Shumba, Mohamed Hafeez, and Rahul Chopra.
All the teams will add another player to their squad in the coming days as five cricketers will be picked from the nationwide Emerging Player programme, which is designed to provide youngsters with a chance to break onto the big stage.
Zimbabwe Cricket Managing Director Givemore Makoni said: “This is a historic day for Zimbabwean cricket and we can’t wait to open up the doors for such talented cricketers. Each of the five squads look extremely strong and I am sure the cricket on display will be of the highest order. And I am delighted that the Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10 will also give the young cricketers a boost as they will be rubbing shoulders with some of the best players in the world.”
T Ten Global Sports Founder and Chairman Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk said: “The Zim Afro T10’s Player Draft is a very big day for the T Ten family and Zimbabwean cricket also. We are very happy to see that the squads are all well-balanced and quite strong, which means the tournament will be a tight one. We can’t wait for the tournament to begin and then have some of the best cricketers from Zimbabwe and around the world entertain one and all. I would like to wish all the teams the very best as they begin preparing for the cricket festival.”