Rohan Mustafa, the UAE captain, was the first player drafted to the new, Ten10 Cricket League (TCL).
The all-rounder was selected by Kerala Kings, as the opening pick of the UAE player draft on Saturday night, ahead of the 10-over competition in Sharjah next month.
Ten UAE-based players were drafted from a pool of 27, for five of the six teams in the new competition.
The draft for international players will take place on Sunday night in Dubai Marina.
Mustafa, as well as legspinner Imran Haider, were recruited by the Kerala franchise, where they will play under the leadership of Eoin Morgan, the England captain.
Shaiman Anwar, the batsman, and Zahoor Khan, the pace bowler, will play alongside Indian great Virender Sehwag with Maratha Arabians.
Ghulam Shabber, the UAE wicketkeeper, and seamer Shareef Asadullah, were signed by Punjabi Legends, whose star player, Shoaib Malik, was present for the draft.
Bengal Tigers recruited Mohammed Naveed, the seamer who is ranked No 10 in the world for T20 bowlers, and Rameez Shahzad, the big-hitting UAE batsman.
Pakhtoon Tigers plumped for pace bowler Amjad Javed and wicketkeeper Saqlain Haider.
The sixth side, Colombo Lions, will be exclusively drawn from the Colombo team who won Sri Lanka’s domestic limited-overs competition this season.
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“We are delighted to be able to give local players an opportunity to play with the big boys and garner the experience,” said Shaji Ul Mulk, the chairman of the TCL committee.
“The enthusiasm we witnessed at the draft is indicative of the high level of interest the T10 is attracting. We are confident it will become a regular feature here and around the cricketing world.”
The league is scheduled to take place at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium from December 14 to 17.
Kerala will benefit from Robin Singh’s expertise, after he was appointed as coach.
The former India player has coached T20 sides in the major leagues in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India and the Caribbean.
“Limited overs, especially T20, is hard and the T10 format promises interesting fare,” Singh said.
“It will be demanding on the fielders especially. The prospect of witnessing serious cricket at the international level in this compressed form is exciting.”
The side representing Kerala had already announced Brian Lara as their team mentor, and Morgan as their captain.
Morgan is in the UAE for Sunday’s main player draft in Dubai Marina. He says the Kings will play a “fiery brand” of cricket in the TCL.
“All of us are new to the concept which has a lot of potential in the sport,” Morgan said.
“Kerala Kings will provide its own fiery brand in this version which our fans and all lovers of cricket will I am sure enjoy.”