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International stars to feature in Afghanistan T20 league

Pakistan internationals Babar Azam, Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal as well as Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal and Zimbabwe’s Hamilton Masakadza were among the players that were sold to teams in Afghanistan’s domestic T20 league.

The tournament, in it’s fifth season, will be contested by six franchise teams and will be played between July 18 and July 28 with all the matches to be staged in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul.

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Afghan internationals Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan raised the profile of cricket in the country when they took part in this season’s Indian Premier League and will be major stars in their own league.

The most-expensive buy at the auction was Afghanistan allrounder Gulbadin Naib, who was bought by Boost Defenders.

Other notable international players that were bought include Bangladesh batsman Imrul Kayes and Zimbabwe’s Sean Williams as well as Pakistan pacemen Sohail Tanvir and Rumman Raees.

Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Shafiq Stanikzai told ESPNcricinfo: “The ICC has sanctioned this event, and is sending its own match referee to oversee the tournament. In addition, we will have one on-field umpire from the ICC panel.

“It will be broadcast locally on one channel. The production company is Indian, but we are thinking of getting it on air in India and Pakistan as well.

“We are currently in negotiations, we haven’t finalised the deal yet.”