Global T20 League International marquee players find their homes

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Cricket South Africa’s Global T20 League franchises have selected their international marquee players at a Gala event in Cape Town.

Each of the eight franchises was allotted a position in the draw with the first pick going to The Bloem City Blazers.

The Blazers opted to take on the services of West Indies allrounder Kieron Pollard, a devastating batsmen and handy bowler.

Pollard has played in almost every T20 competition worth its salt, turning out for the IPL 2017 Champions the Mumbai Indians recently while he is currently engaged in the Caribbean Premier League for his home town team the Barbados Tridents.

Former Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum will be teamed up with Proteas pace ace Kagiso Rabada at the Jo’Burg Giants having been selected in the second round.

McCullum has become something of a T20 journeyman in his international retirement turning out for four different IPL franchises and notching time in the Big Bash League with the Brisbane Heat.

He is also currently engaged in the CPL for the table-topping Trinbago Knight Riders.

The ‘Six Machine’ Chris Gayle will once again be a Knight Rider joining the Cape Town franchise owned by Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan.

Gayle spent some time with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL before joining the star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The big left-hander looks set to revive his international career later this year having been picked in the West Indies ODI squad to face England.

The Durban Qalanders went fourth choosing to bring in the experience of England captain Eoin Morgan.

Morgan recently joined Pollard’s Barbados Tridents with his county Middlesex having been eliminated from the Natwest T20 Blast.

He led England to the World T20 final where they were undone by Carlos Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels.

Fifth pick went to the Pretoria Mavericks who selected West Indies allrounder Dwayne Bravo who joins former Proteas skipper AB de Villiers at Supersport Park.

Bravo has spent much of this year on the sidelines having injured himself during the Big Bash League in Australia.

He has a reputation as a cool death bowler and a dynamic batsman as well as being an athletic fielder.

Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen was picked in the sixth round by the Port Elizabeth based Nelson Mandela Bay Stars.

Pietersen has crafted a career as a T20 specialist after his England career was ended and previously turned out for the Dolphins in the CSA challenge.

The Pietermaritzburg-born superstar remains one of the most devastating batsmen in the game’s shortest format and joins Proteas star Imran Tahir in the Windy City.

Benoni Zalmi are set to have a devastating opening partnership with England’s Jason Roy picked to line up alongside Quinton de Kock.

Roy was born in Durban but is truly a product of the talent rich Surrey County Cricket Club.

His most recent assignment was the Natwest T20 Blast, where Surrey were eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Steelenbosch Monarch’s skipper Faf du Plessis will be able to call on the services of Sri Lanka quick Lasith Malinga.

Known for his devastating swinging Yorkers, Malinga turned out for the IPL winning Mumbai Indians alongside Pollard and was part of Sri Lanka’s Champions Trophy squad.

Speaking from the event, CSA President Chris Nenzani said, “One has been able to sense the growing tide of anticipation and excitement as the T20 Global League has started to become a reality. I am sure the one thing all cricket fans are waiting to know is the names of the world-class players, both from South Africa and abroad, who will be turning out for the various franchises.

“It is indeed highly rewarding for CSA to see the number of quality players from abroad who want to be part of the Global League and this confirms South Africa’s standing as a world-class venue for sport and entertainment,” he said.

Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation Mr Gert Oosthuizen expressed his firm support for the League. “It feels so good to be a South African tonight. The franchise owners have committed to working with the cities and reaching out to the communities they work in. We believe that the South African T20 Global League is important in developing young talent, and will reduce the gap between domestic and international cricket in South Africa.

“The time has come for South Africa to provide the stage for our players to showcase their talent, in South Africa, our country that made the impossible, possible,” he said.

The Main Player Draft will take place on Sunday 27 August and will consist of 16 rounds, with eight (8) selected picks in each round.

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