AB, Watson headline CPL signatures


South Africa Test captain AB de Villiers and Australia all-rounder Shane Watson were two of the leading names to sign big deals at the Caribbean Premier League draft this week, along with Martin Guptill and Faf du Plessis.

Each CPL side signed a marquee players, with De Villiers going to the Barbados Tridents, Watson to the St Lucia Zouks, Du Plessis to St Kits and Nevi Patriots, Guptill to Guyana Amazon Warriors. The Trinbago Knight Rider bagged Brendon McCullum, while Jamaica Tallawahs snapped up Kumar Sangakkara.

De Villiers and Du Plessis will be available for the entire event as the Proteas do not have fixtures in that time (mid-year), while batsman David Miller was also signed.

De Villiers reiterated his commitment to the Proteas, after his signature raised eyebrows in light of his statements about wanting to lighten his workload.

He said, via a Tridents statement: "I've had a careful look at my schedule and am looking forward to the next few months. For players in my position, it is important to find a balance between playing international cricket and participating in the various T20 leagues around the world.

"I remain absolutely committed to international cricket but, this year, it just so happens I can play in the CPL as well.

"In contrast, for example, I have declined offers to play in the Big Bash League in Australia because it clashes with our home series against Sri Lanka."

Meanwhile, Watson said he was thrilled to be a part of the Caribbean showpiece: "It’s a tournament that I've always wanted to be a part of.

"It looks very cool, awesome atmosphere and there are world-class players playing in the tournament as well, so I really can't wait to be a part of it.

"It’s very special to be able to play in the Caribbean."